The New York Times reported this afternoon that a Bernie L. Madoff client has committed suicide. This is truly tragic. Unfortunately, I fear this may not be the last of these reports. Many of Mr. Madoff's clients seemed to have most, if not all, of their wealth invested in his company. In a previous blog, I referenced affinity fraud and the lack of due diligence that often occurs. This may be a similar issue.
Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet (65), a founder of the hedge fund Access International Advisors, was found dead Tuesday in his office on Madison Avenue with injuries to his arms & wrists.
His fund had invested as much as $1.4 billion (a sizable amount compared to other client accounts) with Mr. Madoff. Apparently, he tried to recover some of his European investor's money in recent weeks, but to no avail.
When the news of Madoff's ponzi scheme first broke, Access International sent a note to investors stating the arrest was "a shocking development." Today's announcement is truly shocking in its own right.