A hedge fund executive who lost billions to notorious Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff jumped to his death Monday in an apparent suicide at a New York City hotel.
Charles Murphy apparently jumped to his death shortly after 5 p.m. at the luxurious Sofitel Hotel in midtown Manhattan. Stunned witnesses told police that they saw a man in a dark business suit leap from the 24th floor and land on a fourth floor terrace.
He was a Harvard Law School graduate who recently worked for Paulson & Co. During the 2008 Madoff scandal, he worked for the Fairfield Greenwich group, a high-stakes hedge fund that lost $7 billion in the scam.
Murphy's death is a sobering reminder that despite Madoff's 2009 conviction and 150-year prison sentence, the impact of his crimes is still reverberating in the financial world.
"As Bernie Madoff sits in jail, the wreckage of what he has done is still taking place," Andrew Kirtzman, the author of Betrayal: The Life and Lies of Bernie Madoff, told Inside Edition. "Four people have now committed suicide, including his son, all because they trusted him."
Murphy owned a stunning mansion on New York’s chic Upper East Side that he had been trying to sell for a staggering $49.5 million with no takers. The mansion has this grand entrance with a spiral staircase that winds up seven stories. Inside, there is a two-story wood-paneled library and gallery spaces between floors.
Money was reportedly so tight in the Murphy household that his wife, Annabelle, couldn't pay for repairs on her Honda Odyssey last summer.
"People are still suffering, there are people still trying to reclaim their lives after losing everything," Kirtzman said. "This was a case where someone could not continue."
The story of Madoff’s brazen Ponzi scheme is set to be retold onscreen with Oscar-winner Robert De Niro as Madoff and Michelle Pfeiffer as his wife, Ruth, in the upcoming HBO movie, The Wizard Of Lies.
Murphy is survived by his four children, two from his first marriage to Heather Kerzner, and two with wife Annabelle.