Dec. 17, 2008: Bernard Madoff, chairman of Madoff Investment Securities, returns to his Manhattan apartment after making a court appearance.
The founder of an investment fund that lost as much as $1.4 billion in the alleged Bernard Madoff scheme committed suicide at his Manhattan office, reports say.
Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, of Access International Advisors, was found at about 8 a.m. Tuesday sitting at his desk with both wrists slashed. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne told the Associated Press officers found a box cutter near Magon and a bottle of sleeping pills on his desk. No suicide note was found.
Villehuchet, 65, had lost as much as $1.4 billion invested with Madoff, the French business paper La Tribune reported.
Villehuchet "could not cope with the pressure following the outbreak of the scandal," the Tribune's Web site said, quoting his relatives. "This is a farewell from someone who had done nothing wrong."
Madoff allegedly ran a $50 billion Ponzi scheme, wiping out investors around the world. The former Nasdaq chief is currently on house arrest.
It was immediately unclear what scrutiny de la Villehuchet was facing regarding his Madoff losses through his company. The prominent investor came from a long line of aristocratic Frenchman, with the Magon part of his name referring to one of France's most powerful families.
De la Villehuchet's fund enlisted intermediaries with links to Europe's high society, including Prince Michel of the former Yugoslavia and Philippe Junot, a French businessman who is the former husband of Princess Caroline of Monaco.
De la Villehuchet lived in an affluent suburb in Westchester County with his wife. They have no children. There was no answer Tuesday at the family's two-story house.
"He's irreproachable," Bill Rapavy, who was Access International's chief operating officer before founding his own firm in 2007, told the Associated Press.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.