DEATHS

Madoff Scheme Billionaire Found Dead

The body of Jeffry Picower, the tax-shelter lawyer and accountant who made $7 billion in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, was found dead in the swimming pool of his Palm Beach, Florida, mansion Sunday. According to the city’s fire department, Picower’s wife called 911 after discovering her husband’s body at their oceanfront home shortly after noon and pulled him out with the help of a housekeeper. She had reportedly seen her husband swimming 15 minutes prior to finding him dead on the floor of pool. Picower benefited the most from Madoff’s scam, according to the bankruptcy lawyers who alleged he’d taken out $7 billion more than he’d originally put in—a felony, for which, investigators say, he would have likely faced criminal charges. “He made 30 times what Madoff did from the scam and about a third of the missing money went to Picower,” one investigator said, suggesting he may have been the mastermind behind the con or Madoff’s equal “partner in crime.” Investigators say Madoff documents prove that Picower frequently offered instructions as to how he could create false trades. Police said they did not know the cause of death and are awaiting the results of a full autopsy and toxicology tests.