Madoff Associate Dies of Heart Attack

October 26, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Florida authorities said Bernie Madoff's associate Jeffrey Picower died of a massive heart attack. Although Picower was never charged with a crime, federal authorities said he was heavily involved in Bernie Madoff's ponzi scheme. Florida authorities said Bernie Madoff's associate Jeffrey Picower died of a massive heart attack. Although Picower was never charged with a crime, federal authorities said he was heavily involved in Bernie Madoff's ponzi scheme.

He's been called the single biggest winner in America's largest financial rip-off. Investigators believe Jeffry Picower, an associate of Bernard Madoff, cleared more than $7-Billion dollars in Madoff's Ponzi scheme; an amount 30-times more than the mastermind took himself.

Sunday afternoon, the billionaire was found at the bottom of the pool at his Oceanside home in Palm Beach, Florida.

Don Taylor with Palm Beach Fire Rescue said, "Call came in as a drowning. There was a patient at the bottom of the pool. While en route, we were told the wife and housekeeper were getting the patient out of the pool."

Rescue workers were briefly able to restore a pulse, but Picower died a short time later at a hospital. It is still unclear what caused him do drown.

Lawyers for the victims believe Picower's death leaves behind a lot of unanswered questions about the Madoff scheme. Among them, his accounts in the Madoff scam.

Investigators say they were "riddled with blatant and obvious fraud."

"He was the largest feeder of money into the Madoff partnership scam and, at least according to the records we've seen, he took out the most," said Attorney for Madoff victims, Joe Crotchett.

Picower was being sued for $7.2-billion dollars by the victim's of the Ponzi scheme.

Separately, the trustee who is trying to recover money for thousands of defrauded investors is demanding over five billion dollars.

As for Bernard Madoff, he is serving a 150-year sentence after pleading guilty to running a $65-billion-dollar investment scam.


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