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Widow of Mark Madoff asks for privacy

By the CNN Wire Staff
An attorney said Bernard Madoff didn't go to his son's funeral out of consideration for his daughter-in-law and grandkids.
An attorney said Bernard Madoff didn't go to his son's funeral out of consideration for his daughter-in-law and grandkids.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mark Madoff's widow said she is devastated by her husband's suicide
  • Madoff took his own life two years after father was arrested in massive Ponzi scheme
  • Mark Madoff was named in several lawsuits connected to his father's activities
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New York (CNN) -- The widow of Mark Madoff said she is devastated by the death of her husband, who took his own life two years to the day after his father was arrested in the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history.

"I ask that you please show decency and understanding toward all of Mark's children and allow us to mourn in private," Stephanie Madoff said in a written statement Wednesday.

A private gathering to honor Madoff is expected later this week at an undisclosed location.

His father, Bernard Madoff -- who was convicted of swindling $50 billion from investors -- did not attend his son's funeral out of consideration for his daughter-in-law and grandchildren, attorney Ira Sorkin said.

It is not clear whether he will attend the private gathering, though Sorkin had earlier indicated that the elder Madoff "will be conducting a private service on his own where he's presently incarcerated."

Mark Madoff's body was discovered hanging from a ceiling pipe in his Manhattan apartment Saturday, while his 2-year-old son slept in another room. The death was ruled a suicide by the New York medical examiner's office after an autopsy, spokeswoman Ellen Borakove said.

Bernard Madoff, 71, is at Butner Federal Correction Complex, a medium-security prison in eastern North Carolina.

He is serving a 150-year sentence after bilking investors out of their money by masquerading as the head of a legitimate investment firm while using funds from new investors to send payments to his earlier investors, falsely portraying them as proceeds when they were actually stolen money, prosecutors said.

Madoff's criminal activities spawned a tidal wave of civil actions against Mark Madoff, his mother, siblings and hundreds of other defendants, accused of profiting from the Ponzi scheme by withdrawing more money from Madoff's fund than they invested, money they presumably thought was investment income.

A person familiar with the family says Mark Madoff had not been in touch with his extended family for the past two years.

Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee in charge of recovering and distributing Bernard Madoff's assets, has filed a slew of lawsuits in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan on behalf of some of Madoff's victims.

One filed on December 8 named Mark Madoff, as well as his brother Andrew Madoff and uncle Peter Madoff, as one of several defendants.

 
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