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Bernard Madoff's son, Andrew, dies of cancer at 48

Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff's only surviving son, Andrew, died Wednesday of cancer, according to his attorney. He was 48.

Andrew Madoff, surrounded by family, died at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, where he had been treated for mantle cell lymphoma, the attorney, Martin Flumenbaum, said in a statement. Funeral arrangements were private, Flumenbaum said.

Madoff's death came almost four years after the suicide of his older brother Mark. He hanged himself in his lower Manhattan apartment on Dec. 10, 2010, around the second anniversary of the revelation of his father's $17 billion fraud. He was 46.

Bernard Madoff, 76, is serving a 150-year prison sentence for securities fraud. He pleaded guilty in March 2009 to running the scheme. His wife, Ruth, who has been living in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday.

"As much as Bernie was a bad guy, I don't wish it on anybody," said Garden City attorney Jerome Reisman, who represents a number of Ponzi scheme victims, when told of Andrew Madoff's death. "It is a terrible tragedy and ending the wrong way."

Both Andrew and Mark had been officials in their father's company, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, where they ran the apparently legitimate market-making securities operation. Though some angry investors suspected that the brothers were aware of their father's fraud, the pair vigorously denied knowledge of the scam, which was carried out by a separate, secretive Madoff investment advisory operation. Neither brother was ever charged criminally.

Andrew and his brother alerted federal authorities that their father told them around Dec. 10, 2008, that his business was a giant Ponzi scheme in which he paid fake profits to early investors with money from newer customers. Bernard Madoff was arrested on Dec. 11, 2008.

"It just never occurred to me that it was all fake," Andrew Madoff, who was raised in Roslyn, said in a 2011 television interview.

Irving Picard, the special bankruptcy trustee who for nearly six years has been trying to recover money for the thousands of cheated investors, sued Andrew and Mark Madoff to seize about $156 million they had received from their father's company. In court papers Picard said the money was transferred from the father's firm to the brothers as salaries, bonuses, loans and gains on investments. Picard's lawsuit accused Andrew Madoff of pocketing $73.8 million, his brother Mark $81.2 million.

It is expected that Picard will continue his lawsuits against the estate of Andrew Madoff as he did when Mark died.

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