The Family Business: Suicide Can Be Contagious

For years, Mark Madoff, son of imprisoned Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff, had worked in the "family business." His role had been broker in his father's fictional investment firm. Given all the tensions of business, along with the usual conflicts among family, being part of a family business is rarely easy. It turned out to be fatal for Mark, who took his life on the second anniversary of the outing of Bernie Madoff as a fraud, reports The New York Times.

Mark Madoff was discovered hanging from a pipe in his Manhattan apartment. Recently, Irving Picard, trustee assigned to recover Madoff money for the victims, filed a lawsuit against him. Picard has been filing those kinds of suits, alleging involvement in the Ponzi scheme, during the past few weeks. The targets range from Mark Madoff, as well as his brother Andrew, to Austrian banker Sonja Konh.

The suicide is no surprise. Of all those involved in the Madoff loop, Mark was said to have been the most upset by the shame on the family as well as how friends who had invested and lost their money turned against Mark.

Some wonder how Ruth Madoff, Bernie's devoted wife who is now living a modest life in Florida, will react to the tragic news. Suicide tends to be contagious. Ruth also helped out in the family business.