Mark Madoff Suicide 'Will Not Stop Investigations Into His Role'
Professor Robert Weisberg spoke with The Guardian in regards to the Bernie Madoff case, following the death of his son Mark Madoff:
When Mark Madoff hanged himself with his dog's leash at the weekend, as his child slept nearby, he may have felt he was escaping the unbearable pressure of being the son and former employee of the world's most notorious fraudster.
But lawyers said his death in his Manhattan apartment would not halt the multiple investigations now focused on the role he and others played in the biggest scam in history.
Robert Weisberg, professor of law at Stanford University, said there were no comparable cases to Madoff. "There have been cases of large bankruptcies where there has been criminality in the past," he said. Weisberg pointed to WorldCom, the telecoms giant that became the biggest ever bankruptcy when it collapsed in an accounting scandal in 2002. Bernie Ebbers, the chief executive, is now serving a 25-year sentence for orchestrating a massive fraud. "But there was a real business in there somewhere. This really is quite different," said Weisberg.
The whole of Madoff's business may have been a mirage. "The chance of Picard identifying real assets are remarkably small," said Weisberg. Picard's technique appears to scare those he believes assisted Madoff into settling before they have their names and reputations dragged through court. In the short term, said Weisberg, Mark Madoff's suicide may dampen Picard's pursuit but it will not last long. "For the victims this is almost a cosmic, a theological, violation of the law and morals," he said.