Jeremy Friehling: Tragedy as medical student son of Bernie Madoff's accountant shoots himself dead
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The 23-year-old son of Bernie Madoff's longtime accountant who helped him conceal his notorious Ponzi scheme has committed suicide at medical school in Columbus, Ohio.
Jeremy Friehling was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Thursday at his apartment.
Friehling, of New City, N.Y., is the son of David Friehling, who pleaded guilty in 2009 to nine federal charges of helping conceal Madoff’s $65 billion fraud.
Columbus police found Jeremy Friehling’s body when they visited his apartment after friends had become concerned about him.
Jeremy Friehling apparently posted erratic comments on Facebook throughout Thursday, prompting concerned friends to request local police to conduct a welfare check.
David Friehling and his wife Robin have been married for nearly 30 years and have two other children.
Jeremy Friehling graduated from Duke University in 2011 and was attending medical school at Ohio State University in Columbus. He was the valedictorian of the 2007 graduating class at Clarkstown North High School, reports Lohud.com.
In 2010, Bernie Madoff’s son Mark, committed suicide in a Manhattan apartment on the second anniversary of his father's arrest.
Shamed family: Fraudster Bernie Madoff with his wife Ruth and son Mark at a dinner in Long Island in 2001
Madoff’s Ponzi scam stole billions of dollars and cost many investors millions and, in many cases, their life savings. He is now serving 150 years in prison.
David Friehling has admitted that he filed false statements for 17 years with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that the financial books for Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC were legitimate.
His sentencing has been adjourned several times since 2010 based upon his cooperation with federal investigators. He is scheduled for sentencing in April 2013, but that’s likely to be adjourned again because prosecutors say he’s a witness in another case.
From 1991 to 2008 Friehling never audited Madoff’s business and each year told federal regulators that Madoff’s company had a 'clean audit record.' Madoff paid Friehling $12,000 to $14,500 a month as his auditor from 2004 to 2007.
Guilty: David Friehling¿s sentencing has been adjourned since February 2010 while he has been cooperating with federal prosecutors and agencies investigating aspects of Madoff¿s business empire
Friehling, who became a certified public accountant in 1987 and has since lost his license, took primary oversight of Madoff’s account in 1991 from his father-in-law, Jerome Horowitz, who met Madoff in 1963 through the investor’s wife. Friehling and Horowitz ran a nondescript office inside a strip mall on North Main Street in New City.
As part of his guilty plea, Friehling forfeited $3.1 million and two properties, including a three-story, 4,437-square-foot house South Mountain Road in New City.
Both Madoff's sons, Mark and Andrew, had worked in senior positions for their father's securities firm since their twenties and supervised Madoff's stock-trading desks. But it was a side of the firm not directly involved in the Ponzi scheme.
On 11 December 2008, Madoff summoned his sons to his New York penthouse flat to tell them his investment business was 'one big lie'. They were devastated. Andrew lay crying on the floor of the kitchen and Mark reacted in fury.