Money Games

Fallout of Madoff Beneficiary's Death

Jeffry Picower, a tax-shelter lawyer and accountant accused of making more than $7 billion through longtime friend Bernard Madoff's giant ponzi scheme was found dead Sunday—his wife pulled the 67-year-old's body from the pool at their Palm Beach mansion. Police are currently investigating the death as a drowning, but have not yet ruled out any cause of death. Picower had poor health and suffered from Parkinson's disease and heart problems. A group of jilted Madoff investors had sued Picower to recover more than $7 billion he withdrew from the bogus fund over three decades, charging that he should have recognized that his accounts were "riddled with blatant and obvious fraud," as the trustees' lawyer put it, because he was a seasoned investor. Attorneys say that the death could make the lawsuit more difficult or easier to settle.