A former hedge fund manager who lost millions of dollars of his clients’ cash in Bernie Madoff’s investment scam has fallen to his death from a New York hotel in an apparent suicide.
Charles Murphy, 56, fell yesterday from a room he booked on the 24th floor of the Sofitel in Manhattan.
Witnesses reported to police that a man jumped from a balcony at about 4.40pm at the height of the rush hour. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
His fund at Fairfield Greenwich had poured more than $7 billion into Madoff’s Ponzi scheme before the fraud imploded in 2008. His clients lost nearly $50 million. According to the New York Post, investors filed a class-action lawsuit and the fund agreed to be part of an $80 million settlement.
Mr Murphy was said to have been badly hit by the fraud. He reportedly owned a home on East 67th Street in Manhattan with eight bedrooms, 11 fireplaces, a gym and wine cellar. He bought the townhouse from Seagram heir Matthew Bronfman for $33 million in 2007. But a parking attendant at a nearby multi-story car park told the Post that Mr Murphy’s wife crashed their car last summer and she could not afford to repair it.
He was previously a research analyst at Morgan Stanley and co-head of the European financial institutions group at Credit Suisse. He graduated from Harvard Law School and MIT Sloan School of Management, and had recently been serving as a partner with the investment management firm Paulson & Co. The head of the fund, John Paulson, released a statement saying: “We are extremely saddened by this news. Charles was an extremely gifted and brilliant man, a great partner and a true friend.’
The Madoff scandal is considered the largest financial fraud in US history. Mr Murphy’s death was the fourth reported suicide of a person linked to it. Madoff’s eldest son Mark was found hanged in his apartment in Soho, New York in 2010 on the second anniversary of his father’s arrest.
Investor William Foxton, a 65-year-old former army major, committed suicide in 2009 after going bankrupt. René-Thierry Magon De La Villehuchet, a French aristocrat whose AIA Group lost $1.5 billion, was found dead after the scandal broke.
In 2011, the upscale Sofitel made headlines around the world when French politician and head of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was accused of raping a maid in the hotel. Three months later, all charges were dismissed.