Bernie Madoff exits Manhattan federal court, March 10, 2009. File/AP
The sister and brother-in-law of infamous Ponzi scheme mastermind Bernie Madoff have been found dead in a suspected murder-suicide.
Sondra Wiener, 87, was found shot dead on Thursday at her home on Barca Boulevard in Valencia Lakes, west of Boynton Beach, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.
The body of a 90-year-old male was also found dead of a gunshot wound, it continued – although his family has invoked a Florida law protecting crime victims to withhold his name.
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Ms Wiener’s husband Marvin, however, was known to live with her and was named locally in a neighbourhood email.
The couple died in what “appears to be a murder/suicide,” the sheriff’s office said, continuing: “The Medical Examiner’s Office personnel arrived on scene and took possession of both the male and Sondra. The cause of death will be determined by the ME.”
An internal email sent to homeowners in the neighbourhood and obtained by BocaNewsNow lamented the “tragic situation on Barca Boulevard regarding the passing of Sondra and Marvin Weiner. (sic) Our thoughts and condolences go out to their family. There is currently an investigation pending”.
Bernie Madoff ran the largest Ponzi scheme in history. He pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies in 2009 and died last year in prison at the age of 82.
Before they moved to Valencia Lakes, the Wieners lived in BallenIsles, a private country club community where Serena and Venus Williams also previously owned a home. The Wieners had to sell their Palm Beach Gardens mansion, however - worth about $850,000 – after they allegedly lost millions in Madoff’s scam.
“My family’s a victim,” their son, David, told the New York Post in 2009. “More so than anybody else. It’s very painful.”
The couple moved into a home nearly a third of the price in Valencia Lakes, about a half-hour south of their previous address.
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