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Madoff investor commits suicide

world Updated: Dec 24, 2008 10:56 IST

IANS
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A French investment manager and the co founder of a firm that raised money in Europe to be put into Bernard Madoff's fraud hit scheme has committed suicide in his office in New York, media reports said.

Rene Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, 65, a founder of the hedge fund Access International Advisors, was found dead Tuesday in his office in Manhattan, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, quoting police officials.

The French manager's fund reportedly lost as much as $1.4 billion that had been invested with Bernard L Madoff, the money manager accused of running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

According to New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Villehuchet was at the office at 7 pm on Monday, working late. Later in the evening, one of the firm’s partners asked security to check on the office and see if Villehuchet was still there.

"The door was locked," Kelly said, adding that when security opened the door on Tuesday morning, they found Villehuchet, "with cuts to his arm, wrist and his bicep apparently made with a box cutter".

"No suicide note was found, and while pills were present, it is unknown if Villehuchet had ingested them," he said.

According to French newspaper La Tribune, Villehuchet had been trying to recover the money that Access International raised in Europe and invested through Madoff's business.

Madoff, whose fraud has ensnared Wall Street investors and charities around the world, is currently under house arrest while an investigation is underway. His assets have been frozen.