(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.)
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Operation Santa Claus needs holiday help
- This college bowl season is likely to be epic
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- 2016 college football rivalry games you simply can't miss
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- Diet, exercise and aspirin: 3 tools to fight colon cancer
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona