Bernie Madoff’s sister and brother-in-law found dead in apparent murder-suicide


(JTA) — The sister and brother-in-law of Bernie Madoff, the hedge fund manager who ran a $50 billion Ponzi scheme that counted a number of major Jewish nonprofits among its victims, died in an apparent murder-suicide.

Sondra Wiener, 87, and Marvin Wiener, 90, were found dead at their home in Boynton Beach, Florida Thursday. The cause,  local police said, was gunshot wounds. A motive was not made public.

“Detectives from the Violent Crimes Division arrived on scene to investigate further. After further investigation it appears to be a murder-suicide,” the police said in a statement, according to CNN.

Madoff, whose crimes were discovered in December 2008, died in prison last year at 82 after being sentenced to 150 years in prison in 2009. The investors defrauded in Madoff’s Ponzi scheme included Yeshiva University, elite Orthodox Jewish day schools in New York and Boston, Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, and other Jewish organizations and family foundations.

Sondra and Marvin Wiener were among Madoff’s victims, having lost several million dollars in the Ponzi scheme, their son told reporters at the time the scheme became public.

Wiener was not the first member of the family to make a suicide attempt in the years following Madoff’s arrest. Bernie Madoff and his wife, Ruth, attempted suicide in Dec. 2008 but survived. Madoff’s son Mark, who worked with his father, died by suicide in 2010 on the second anniversary of his father’s arrest.

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