Bernard Madoff's son Mark, who committed suicide on the second anniversary of his father's arrest, has been cremated and a private gathering will be held in his memory, his wife said in a statement on Wednesday.
Mark Madoff, 46, hanged himself inside his Manhattan apartment on Saturday, after he "succumbed to two years of unrelenting pressure from false accusations and innuendo," according to his lawyer.
The eldest son of Bernard Madoff managed the brokerage at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, along with Mark's brother Andrew. The brothers have been sued by a court-appointed trustee who claimed they knew or should have known about the scam, considered the biggest financial fraud in history. They denied the allegations.
The trustee has also sued their children, claiming that money transferred to them were proceeds of the multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Bernard Madoff over decades. A Ponzi scheme is one in which early investors are paid with the money of new clients.
"My husband Mark took his own life and regardless of what you feel about my father-in-law and his monstrous crimes, Mark's children are innocent victims and this is tragic for them," Stephanie Madoff said in a statement released by a public relations firm.
Bernard Madoff, 72, is serving a 150-year prison sentence in North Carolina after pleading guilty in March 2009 to a worldwide investment scheme.
"I am devastated and now raising two small children alone. I ask that you please show decency and understanding toward all of Mark's children and allow us to mourn in private," Stephanie Madoff's statement said. "Mark has been cremated and there will be a private gathering to honor him later this week at an undisclosed location."
U.S. prosecutors initially estimated the fraud took in about $65 billion. In some of his most recent lawsuits, the trustee, Irving Picard, has put the amount of investor money lost at about $20 billion. (Reporting by Grant McCool; Editing by Derek Caney)
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