A hedge-fund executive whose firm lost millions of dollars in the Bernie Madoff investment scheme jumped to his death, falling 20 stories from a luxury Manhattan hotel. The apparent suicide is the latest connected to the Madoff scandal.
Charles Murphy’s hedge fund, Fairfield Greenwich Group, invested more than $7 billion in Madoff’s wealth management firm – only to take a hard hit when the operation was revealed to be the largest Ponzi scheme in US history.
Witnesses said a man in a dark business suit, later identified as Murphy, jumped from the 24th floor of the Sofitel New York Hotel in Midtown Manhattan just before 5:00pm on Monday, according to the New York Post. He landed on a fourth-floor terrace, according to reports, with the impact of the landing cracking concrete tiles.
Murphy, 55, is survived by his wife, Annabel Murphy, and two sons, according to the New York Daily News. He owned a multi-million dollar limestone townhouse on E. 67th Street, an 11,000-sq ft property he was trying to sell as of last year. A man standing at the door of townhouse said the family was grieving.
“Go away, leave the family to grieve,” the man said, according to the Daily News
Murphy was working as a partner with the investment management firm Paulson & Co., whose founder John Paulson issued a statement, calling Murphy “a brilliant man, a great partner and a true friend.”
“We are extremely saddened by this news. Charles was an extremely gifted and brilliant man, a great partner and a true friend,” Paulson said, according to the Financial Times. “Our deepest prayers are with his family.”
Murphy lost his job and his firm lost $50 million, when Madoff’s investment scam was revealed in 2008 and 2009, according to the Wall Street Journal. Murphy and his partners were defendants in an $80 million lawsuit brought against Madoff by defrauded investors, according to the Daily News.
Murphy’s suicide is the latest connected to the Madoff scam. Madoff’s son, Mark, hanged himself in 2010. Investor and former Army Major William Foxton killed himself in 2009 after going bankrupt, and Rene Thierry Magon De La Villehuchet, whose firm AIA Group lost $15 billion in the scheme, was found dead in 2008, according to reports.
Madoff pleaded guilty to several federal felonies related to the two-decade fraud scandal, in which he bilked investors out of billions of dollars. He was sentenced to 150 years in prison in June 2009.