Bernard Madoff's son Mark found hanged in New York

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly: ''Mr Madoff apparently left some email notes''

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One of convicted US fraudster Bernard Madoff's sons has committed suicide in his New York apartment, a family lawyer has said.

Mark Madoff, 46, was found hanged in Manhattan on the second anniversary of his father's arrest.

Mark Madoff and his brother Andrew were both being investigated in the case but had not been charged.

Bernard Madoff admitted last year defrauding thousands of investors through a $65bn (£41bn) Ponzi scheme.

The scheme pays out using new investors' money rather than from any profits.

Bernard Madoff, 72, is serving a 150-year prison term.

Unravelled

A family member notified police of the incident in the Soho district at around 0730 local time (1230 GMT) on Saturday.

Investigators arrive at Mark Madoff's New York apartment The alarm was raised at Mark Madoff's New York apartment

A lawyer for the two brothers, Martin Flumenbaum, told Reuters: "Mark Madoff took his own life today. This is a terrible and unnecessary tragedy.

"Mark was an innocent victim of his father's monstrous crime who succumbed to two years of unrelenting pressure from false accusations and innuendo."

Mark and Andrew Madoff worked on a trading desk for the family firm, in a part of the business not thought to be directly involved in the Ponzi scheme. They and other family members have denied being aware of it.

Mark Madoff's wife this year asked a court to allow her to change her surname, citing threats to the family.

On Friday, the trustee charged with recovering funds for the victims of Bernard Madoff's fraud filed lawsuits seeking nearly $20bn in damages.

Irving Picard has charged nearly 60 people, including a number of major banks.

Mark Madoff was also being sued for failing to protect investor assets.

He had been accused in one lawsuit of using $66m in improperly received funds to buy luxury homes.

A friend and associate of Bernard Madoff, Jeffry Picower, who was also being sued, was found dead in a swimming pool at his Florida home in October, although the case remains unresolved.

Bernard Madoff has always insisted he acted alone but seven other people have been arrested in connection with the case.

The Ponzi scheme, which had been running since the early 1990s, unravelled when Bernard Madoff's investors tried to withdraw about $7bn at the height of the economic downturn. He could not produce the money.

Last month, an auction of the possessions of the disgraced financier and his wife was held in New York, raising more than $2m that will go to more than 3,000 clients who lost money through the scheme.

When the fraudster was arrested two years ago, US marshals seized everything he owned and will sell it all.

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