Fourth person connected to US fraudster Bernie Madoff commits suicide

Bernie Madoff is serving a 150-year prison sentence for the biggest US fraud in history.
Bernie Madoff is serving a 150-year prison sentence for the biggest US fraud in history. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - A partner at New York hedge fund Paulson & Co died on Monday (March 27) after jumping out of a hotel window in what may be the fourth person connected to US fraudster Bernie Madoff case to commit suicide, US media reported.

Charles Murphy, 56, jumped out of a 24th-floor window of the Sofitel New York Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, landing on a fourth-floor terrace.

An investigation, treating the incident as suicide, has begun, a New York City Police Department spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

Mr Murphy was identified by his employer, billionaire investor John Paulson.

Before coming to Paulson, Murphy worked for hedge fund Fairfield Greenwich Group, which collapsed after putting more than US$7 billion with Madoff, who admitted in 2008 that he was running a Ponzi scheme. Fairfield eventually agreed to pay US$125 million to settle a lawsuit related to the Madoff case, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Madoff, 78, is serving a 150-year prison sentence for the biggest US fraud in history. He conned nearly 5,000 investors all over the world out of US$65 billion, going undetected for over 20 years.

Madoff had two children. His older son Mark hanged himself on Dec 11, 2010, exactly two years after his father's arrest while his younger brother, Andrew, died of cancer in 2014. Mark and Andrew, who both worked for the family-run investment firm, had turned their father in to officials and steadfastly denied involvement in the scheme.

A French aristocrat who lost US$1.5 billion in Madoff's scheme previously committed suicide in 2008. Another investor, a 65-year-old former Army major, committed suicide a year later.