Ponzi King Bernie Madoff’s Sister and Husband Found Dead in Murder-Suicide

Madoff’s sister, Sondra Wiener, was just one of the people whose lives the master scammer ruined.
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The sister of investment fraud mastermind Bernie Madoff and her husband have been killed in what police are calling an apparent murder-suicide.

Sondra Wiener, 87, and her husband Marvin, 90, were found dead in their Boyton Beach, Florida, home Thursday, according to a statement Sunday from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies responding to a 911 call about an unresponsive couple inside their residence at around 12:55 p.m. on February 17 “located an elderly female and male deceased from a gunshot wound,” the Sheriff’s Office said. “Detectives from the Violent Crimes Division arrived on scene to investigate further. After further investigation it appears to be a murder/suicide.”

It is not yet known who killed who, and a rep for the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office has not responded to a request for comment from Los Angeles.

The PBSO said in a Tweet Sunday, “The Medical Examiner’s Office personnel arrived on scene and took possession of both Marvin and Sondra. The cause of death will be determined by the ME.”

Bernie Madoff is the Wall Street criminal who prosecutors estimate stole $65 billion from between 4,800 to 37,000 victims in what is still the largest known Ponzi scheme in history. Madoff’s notable dupes included Steven Spielberg—whose Wunderkind Foundation took a still-undisclosed hit—Jeffrey Katzenberg, Kevin Bacon/Kyra Sedgwick, John Malkovich, Larry King, and even Nobel laureate Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.

Madoff also ripped off his own sister. In December 2009, the New York Post reported that Sondra and Marvin Wiener had “nothing” left after Madoff took them for about $3 million and they were forced to sell their three-bedroom home at the BallenIsles Country Club, a gated Palm Beach hideaway where they were neighbors with Serena and Venus Williams.

Sondra’s son David told the Post at the time, “Yes, my family’s a victim. More so than anybody else. It’s very painful.”

In January, 2010, Madoff’s oldest son, Mark, killed himself at age 46 after what his lawyer called “two years of unrelenting pressure from false accusations and innuendo.”

Madoff himself was sentenced to 150 years in prison in 2009 and died there last year at age 82.

BocaNewsNow, which first broke the story, has obtained an email sent by a community leader to homeowners in the Valencia Lakes neighborhood where the Wieners lived.

“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 [sic],” the message reads. “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.”

According to BocaNewsNow, after the Wieners were forced to sell their BallenIsles home in 2009, they bought the house where they died for $315,000.


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