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Andrew Madoff dies at 48; son of disgraced financier Bernard Madoff

Andrew Madoff speaks to "60 Minutes" in 2011. He told the show that what his father, Ponzi king Bernard Madoff, "did to me, my brother and my family is unforgivable. ... And I'll never speak to him again."
(Associated Press)

Andrew Madoff, Bernard Madoff’s last surviving son, died of cancer on Wednesday, years after turning his father in and insisting he had been duped like the rest of the world into believing history’s most notorious Ponzi king was an honest financier.

Andrew Madoff, 48, died at a New York City hospital from mantle cell lymphoma, his attorney, Martin Flumenbaum, said in a statement.

Madoff and his brother, Mark, both worked on the legitimate trading side of their father’s Manhattan firm, two floors removed from the private investment business where Bernard Madoff carried out his $65-billion Ponzi scheme over several decades.

Bernard Madoff, 76, was arrested in December 2008. He pleaded guilty to fraud charges months later and is serving a 150-year sentence at a federal prison in North Carolina. Exactly two years after the father’s arrest, Mark Madoff hanged himself in his Manhattan loft apartment.

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“One way to think of this is the scandal and everything that happened killed my brother very quickly,” Andrew Madoff told People magazine last year. “And it’s killing me slowly.”

Andrew Madoff was first diagnosed with the rare form of cancer in 2003 but went into remission. He blamed the relapse on the stress of living with his father’s scam. The disease returned in October 2012.

Madoff had served as the chairman of the Lymphoma Research Foundation’s board of directors until his father’s scheme was revealed.

The death came as authorities continue to investigate what role, if any, close family members and others linked to the Madoff business had in the fraud. Sentencings are scheduled in several weeks for five former high-level Madoff firm employees convicted of helping carry out the fraud by conspiring to defraud clients and falsifying books and records.

This summer, a court-appointed trustee who has recovered more than half of the nearly $20 billion that thousands of people had invested with Madoff filed a lawsuit claiming that Madoff’s sons used their father’s business as their “personal cookie jar,” accepting sham loans, fictitious trades and deferred compensation. It accused them of knowing about the fraud and trying to cover it up by deleting emails during a Securities and Exchange Commission probe.

“The new allegations are unfounded and false,” Flumenbaum said when the lawsuit was filed. “As we stated from the outset, neither Andrew nor Mark knew of, or knowingly participated, in their father’s criminal conduct. It was Andrew and Mark who informed the authorities of their father’s fraud, and put an end to it.”

Andrew Howard Madoff was born April 8, 1966, and raised in the New York suburb of Roslyn, on Long Island. He worked as a dock boy at a yacht club and started a boat-washing business with his brother before working as a summer intern for his father’s firm.

He majored in finance in the undergraduate business program at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, graduating in 1988, then began working for his father that summer.

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He cooperated with author Laurie Sandell for the 2011 book “Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family” and granted interviews to “60 Minutes” and other programs to emphasize his family’s innocence, outrage and sorrow.

“What he did to me, my brother and my family is unforgivable,” Madoff told “60 Minutes.” “What he did to thousands of other people — destroyed their lives — I’ll never understand, and I’ll never forgive him for it. And I’ll never speak to him again.”

He told People magazine in 2013 that his feelings toward his father hadn’t changed.

“Even on my deathbed,” he said, “I will never forgive him for what he did.”

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