February 20th, 2022
The sister of late fraudster Bernie Madoff and her husband were found dead in Florida in an apparent murder-suicide, authorities said Sunday.
Sondra Wiener, 87, and her spouse Marvin, 90 — whose lives were among those destroyed by Madoff’s $65 billion Ponzi scheme — were discovered dead from gunshot wounds in their home Thursday afternoon in Boynton Beach, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies received a call at 12:55 p.m. about the couple being unresponsive in their residence, authorities said.
“Upon arrival, deputies located an elderly female and male deceased from a gunshot wound,” the sheriff’s office said.
Detectives from the Violent Crimes Division are investigating their deaths as a murder-suicide, authorities confirmed. It wasn’t immediately clear who killed who, but the couple’s kin requested that authorities shield the name of Marvin, citing Marcy’s Law, which allows relatives to protect the names of crime victims.
Wiener and her husband had not been spared by her brother’s financial crimes, with the couple reportedly losing $3 million when his Ponzi scheme came crashing down in 2008.
“She lost millions in this whole thing,” a source told The Post in 2009.
Before Madoff’s crimes came to light, the siblings appeared close. The Wieners had lived near his Palm Beach estate in the BallenIsles Country Club, a gated enclave home to celebrities such as Serena and Venus Williams.
But in 2009, they downsized after selling the house for $575,000, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
Wiener had been among one of five relatives who received packages filled with pricey heirlooms allegedly mailed by Madoff and his wife, Ruth, on Christmas Eve 2008 — just days after the financier’s sons turned him over to authorities for defrauding his clients.
Though the sister did not work for Madoff Securities, her son Charles, 50, toiled there for decades, once serving as the director of administration.
Another of Wiener’s sons, David, confirmed in 2009 that his parents had suffered financially as a result of the Ponzi scheme.
“Yes, my family’s a victim. More so than anybody else. It’s very painful,” he told The Post.
No further details were immediately released about the circumstances surrounding their deaths.
The deadly incident at the couple’s home was first reported by Boca News Now.
In an e-mail sent to residents in the couple’s Valencia Lakes neighborhood, a community leader confirmed the deaths.
“Let me start off by stating that as many of you have heard, we had a tragic situation on Barca Boulevard regarding the passing of Sondra and Marvin Weiner,” said the e-mail obtained by Boca News Now.“Our thoughts and condolences go out to their family. There is currently an investigation pending. All I can say is at this time there is no security or safety threat to anyone in the community.”
Bernie Madoff, who pleaded guilty in 2009 to running the Ponzi scheme, died in federal lockup in Butner, NC, in April as he was serving a 150-year sentence. He was 82.
His devastating financial crimes have been linked to a number of tragedies.
His elder son, Mark, hanged himself on the second anniversary of the fraudster’s 2008 arrest and left behind a bitter note.
“Bernie, now you know how you have destroyed the lives of your sons by your life of deceit. F–-k you,” wrote Mark, 48.
The convict’s younger son Andrew also blamed their dad for his recurrence of the rare cancer mantle-cell lymphoma, which killed him in 2014. Andrew also was 48 when he died.
“One way to think of this is the scandal and everything that happened killed my brother very quickly. And it’s killing me slowly,” Andrew told People magazine before his death.
Madoff’s ripoff was also tied to the suicides of three investors, including a hedge-fund executive, Charles Murphy, 56, who jumped his death from the luxury Sofitel New York Hotel in 2017 after his firm invested $7 billion with the financier.