UPDATED: The NYPD confirmed that Thierry Magon de La Villehuchet, founder and head of hedge fund Access International Advisors which invested heavily with Bernard Madoff, was found dead in his Madison Avenue office. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told Bloomberg News, “Our investigative premise is that it was a suicide."
Kelly said de La Villehuchet, 65, was found "with his feet propped up on his desk, a trash pail nearby to collect blood"; he had “multiple stab wounds” to his arms and wrists, plus a box-cutter and pills were found nearby. It is not believed a second person was involved and no suicide note was found. De La Villehuchet had apparently worked late and a cleaning staff found him this morning.
Access International Advisors was one of many hedge funds that sunk money into Madoff's program—which turned out to be a $50 billion Ponzi Scheme. According to Bloomberg News, "Access’s LUXALPHA SICAV-American Selection invested solely with Madoff. Access said last week that it was working with lawyers to assess the situation."
Dealbook reports, "Mr. de la Villehuchet had been trying to recover the money that Access International raised in Europe and invested through Mr. Madoff’s business." And de la Villehuchet's friend told AFP, "Access was his whole life, and Madoff was a manager in whom he had complete trust. I lunched with him two weeks ago and he said, how lucky it was that Madoff was the only manager still doing well at the moment."
Hedge funds that invested with the fraudulent Madoff have come under fire, because the firms were (1) supposed to do due diligence on investments and (2) charged their client heavy fees for managing their money. Fairfield Greenwich Group, a fund that invested $7.5 billion with Madoff (and collected $500 million in clients' fees), is now being sued by investors for "allegedly failing to protect their assets."
Madoff (pictured), has reportedly received death threats, after losing the money of large firms, charities and individuals alike.