(AP) – The son of Bernard Madoff’s longtime accountant, who himself pleaded guilty to securities fraud in the scandal centered on the disgraced financier, has committed suicide in central Ohio, authorities said.
Jeremy Friehling, 23, was found dead at his apartment of a self-inflicted gunshot wound Thursday in Columbus, where he was a second-year student at Ohio State’s medical school, police there said.
There was no indication that the Madoff investment scandal had anything to do with the suicide, Franklin County Coroner Jan Gorniak said. She said Friehling left a note that just said that he was sorry.
Police detective Jay Fulton confirmed Sunday that Friehling left a note but would not give details about its contents.
The Friehling family declined to comment and “asks that their privacy be respected at this difficult time,” Andrew Lankler, an attorney for Friehling’s father, said Sunday.
Bernard Madoff was arrested in 2008 and later admitted that his investment business was a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. He was sentenced to 150 years in prison. Madoff’s son, Mark Madoff, committed suicide in December 2010, hanging himself in his New York City apartment.
Friehling’s father, David, of New City, N.Y., pleaded guilty in 2009 to securities fraud charges. Madoff’s accountant for nearly two decades, he quickly came under scrutiny after the financier’s spectacular scam came to light. Federal prosecutors said he turned a blind eye to Madoff’s cooked books.
David Friehling said he failed to do his job to verify Madoff’s financial records but insisted that he didn’t know Madoff was ripping off investors. He noted that he had put his own family’s savings, including college funds for his three children, into Madoff’s investment business.
“In what was the biggest mistake of my life, I put my trust with Bernard Madoff,” Friehling told a judge.
Friehling has yet to be sentenced, as he is continuing to work with prosecutors. He pleaded guilty to charges that carry a potential prison term of up to 114 years in prison, though substantial cooperation can result in significant leniency. He also agreed to forfeit $3.1 million, which represents what he was paid by Madoff for his accounting and tax services, along with what his family withdrew from their Madoff accounts.
Jeremy Friehling was “a friend to many and a brilliant student who gave selflessly of his time to tutor other students,” said a statement from the dean of the Ohio State medical school, Charles Lockwood. He also said Friehling had great promise as a future physician.
Associated Press writers Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus and Jennifer Peltz in New York City contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- 7 common ways to get sued by your employees
- Why it might be time to upgrade your toilet
- Arizona teachers are building a better future by using technology in the classroom
- How to make summer reading fun for the whole family
- How to find relief for chronic joint pain
- Can the NBA Lottery save the Suns?
- Skip Urgent Care: 5 ailments you can treat with telemedicine
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments