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updated 12/14/2010 2:18:25 PM ET 2010-12-14T19:18:25

Before hanging himself as his two-year-old son slept nearby, Mark Madoff sent emails to his wife and lawyer that read in part "No one wants to hear the truth."

A New York City funeral chapel has claimed the body of Madoff on behalf of the family. Funeral details are unavailable.

The 46-year-old son of disgraced financier Bernard Madoff hanged himself with a dog leash in his Manhattan apartment on Saturday. It was the second anniversary of his father's arrest. His death was officially ruled a suicide on Sunday.

A funeral director for the Gramercy Park Memorial Chapel in Manhattan claimed the body on behalf of the family on Tuesday. A worker there said there was no information yet on the funeral.

Bernard Madoff is serving a 150 year sentence for orchestrating the largest Ponzi scheme ever. His lawyer said he would not seek to attend his son's funeral.

Sources told NBCNew that the tax fraud investigation into Mark Madoff was active and ongoing — but at this time officials said there simply was not enough evidence to charge him criminally.

Madoff and his brother Andrew had long denied any involvement in their father's Ponzi scheme. Mark Madoff's lawyer had called his suicide "unnecessary."

Video: Shunned Madoff forgoes son’s funeral (on this page)

"If he wasn't involved it certainly is a horrific tragedy," said former federal prosecutor Annemarie McAvoy. "It could be because of the shame that was involved in large part because he said people did not understand."

Madoff, who worked at his father's firm for years, never spoke publicly about suspicion he knew or should have known. The Madoff Trustee Irving Picard filed civil suits against him trying to recover more than $60 million Mark took from the firm. Picard alleges if Mark had done his job, Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme might not have succeeded for so long.

Officials point out the criminal investigation continues to move forward. Two more Madoff employees were recently charged and Madoff's right hand man Frank DiPascali has pleaded guilty and continues to tell all he knows.

"As other defendants who are arrested cooperate there is a very good chance that they may get enough information to prosecute him," McAvoy said. She pointed out complex white collar investigations often take years to complete.

Mark Madoff apparently did not want to face any more years of scrutiny.

Spokesmen for the US Attorney, FBI and IRS all declined to comment.

Mark Madoff was found Saturday morning in the living room of his $6 million apartment on Mercer Street in SoHo. A family member positively identified the body on Sunday, and the medical examiner confirmed the cause of death.

Madoff's wife, Stephanie, sent her stepfather to the couple's home after he e-mailed her at Disney World in Florida, where she was vacationing with their 4-year-old daughter. In the messages, he told her he loved her and that someone should check on their 2-year-old child, Nicholas, police said. He left no suicide note. Saturday marked the two-year anniversary of the arrest of Bernie Madoff, who pleaded guilty to 11 federal crimes and admitted to turning his wealth management business into a massive scheme that defrauded thousands of investors of billions of dollars.

The Associated Press and NBC New contributed to this report.

Video: Shunned Madoff forgoes son’s funeral

  1. Transcript of: Shunned Madoff forgoes son’s funeral

    MEREDITH VIEIRA, co-host: But let's begin this half-hour with new details tied to the suicide of Bernie Madoff 's oldest son, Mark . Madoff , who is in prison in North Carolina , has decided that he will not attend his son's funeral. NBC 's Jeff Rossen has more. Jeff , good morning.

    JEFF ROSSEN reporting: Hi , Meredith , good morning to you. According to his lawyer, Bernie Madoff decided not to attend the funeral out of respect for his family , a family that shunned him. His kids say they haven't spoken to him in two years. Bernie 's wife is reportedly furious and blames him for the suicide. And now Bernie Madoff 's own grandkids may pay for his mistakes. At the Madoffs ' Connecticut estate the family gathered Monday, no comment as relatives came down the long, winding driveway, as they grieve Mark 's suicide, apparently depressed over the criminal investigation and lawsuits against him. His father, Bernie Madoff , has made a decision behind bars, he won't attend Mark 's funeral out of consideration of his daughters-in-law and grandchildren's privacy. Instead, according to his lawyer, Madoff will hold his own private ceremony in prison.

    Offscreen Voice: What do you have to say to the public?

    ROSSEN: It's not even clear if Bernie Madoff would be welcome at the funeral. Mark cut ties with his father and mother, Ruth , when the scandal broke in 2008 . Friends say they haven't talked since. Now living in Florida , Ruth reportedly blames her convict husband for their son's death.

    Mr. JERRY OPPENHEIMER (Author, "Madoff with the Money"): She claims that Bernie Madoff has blood on his hands. She calls him an SOB , that he has totally ruined his family , and the death of their son was the final straw.

    ROSSEN: In his final months, Mark Madoff plead poverty to friends. But in reality, he was still living a lavish life. His compound in Connecticut worth $2.3 million; his sprawling oceanfront estate in Nantucket , seen here, is worth 7 million; and the Manhattan apartment where he hanged himself with a dog leash is worth $6 million. Now lawsuits against him seek payback for his father's admitted scam. With Mark gone, his wife and young children, as young as two years old, may be on the hook for tens of millions.

    SCOTT COHN reporting: The victims of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme want their money back. And one of the things that they've tried to do is to go after Mark Madoff 's children, seeking money that they got through, allegedly, the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. So this litigation is going to go on.

    ROSSEN: And federal investigators haven't ruled out criminal charges, either. Mark and Andrew turned their father in when he confessed to them, but officials still want to know what the sons knew about the Ponzi scheme and whether they were involved.

    Mr. BRAD SIMON (Former US Attorney): Andrew is now the sole surviving son. And if the US attorney had intended to bring charges against the sons, it will all fall on Andrew now.

    ROSSEN: Both Mark and Andrew Madoff have denied any knowledge or involvement in the Ponzi scheme from the very start. And law enforcement sources say two years later there's still not enough evidence to charger -- charge either one of them. By the way, the family still hasn't claimed Mark 's body from the medical examiner here in New York City . And, Meredith , there is no word yet on funeral plans, either.

    VIEIRA: All right, Jeff Rossen , thank you very much . David Margolick is a contributing editor for Vanity Fair who has written about Mark Madoff . Good morning to you.

    Mr. DAVID MARGOLICK (Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair): Good morning, Meredith .

    VIEIRA: Also written about the sons, also...

    Mr. MARGOLICK: Right.

    VIEIRA: ...Mark and Andrew . And been following this story for a long time. You wrote an in-depth piece last year about Mark and Andrew , and you talked to a lot of friends and colleagues and acquaintances. Your reaction when you heard this news?

    Mr. MARGOLICK: Well, I guess I was shocked along with everybody else. I guess I would have assumed that he'd passed the worst of it already, that, you know, the epicenter of the thing had sort of moved on, that the story had faded from view a little bit.

    VIEIRA: Although there were people still breathing down his back.

    Mr. MARGOLICK: Right. But, I mean, everybody thought that they were going to get indicted right off the bat, that the case against them was just so obvious, and it didn't happen. And one would have thought that maybe he'd reached a different kind of equilibrium in his life, but obviously that wasn't true.

    VIEIRA: Yeah, he took his life on the two-year anniversary of his father's arrest. What did you make of that?

    Mr. MARGOLICK: Well, I don't think he was making a particular point by...

    VIEIRA: You don't?

    Mr. MARGOLICK: picking that date. I think that it was just a reminder that the case was never going to go away from him. I mean, on the second anniversary there were legal consequences because the trustee had a deadline for filing actions by the -- by the second anniversary. And so there was a flurry of activity around then. And then there were the usual newspaper stories two years in, including stories about him, and supposedly one of the things he was concerned about was a story in The Wall Street Journal .

    VIEIRA: That came out the day that he killed himself .

    Mr. MARGOLICK: That came out the morning of his suicide. And the story in the Journal had nothing new about him, and nothing incriminating about him, but it was just a reminder that he was always going to be under this shadow, he'd never be able to escape it. And maybe just he was finally overwhelmed by that.

    VIEIRA: Yeah. He sent out some e-mails right before he took his own life , one to his wife, Stephanie , who was in Florida with their other child , their daughter, I think...

    Mr. MARGOLICK: Right.

    VIEIRA: ...visiting Disney World . He wrote, "I love you. Please send someone to take care of Nick ," their two-year-old son who was sleeping in another room when he -- when he killed himself . The other e-mail to his attorney, in which he wrote, "Nobody wants to believe the truth. Please take care of my family ." What was the truth as he saw it?

    Mr. MARGOLICK: I think the truth as he saw it was that he was entirely innocent of all of this, and he said that nobody believed him. He really didn't make much of a defense, in a way. I mean, he kind of disappeared. When I tried to interview him, of course, he wouldn't talk to me. Now, his brother wouldn't talk to me, either -- this was for the piece for Vanity Fair -- but his brother sort of made himself available through surrogates and he got his case out there. I think that the two Madoff brothers reacted very differently to this. I mean, Andy Madoff , the younger brother , sort of went on with his life a little bit. He'd already separated himself from his father even before all of this exploded. And Mark really didn't do that. It just all sort of coiled up within him.

    VIEIRA: Yeah. You said he would obsess on articles about all of this that had happened, too.

    Mr. MARGOLICK: That was the image of him...

    VIEIRA: Yeah.

    Mr. MARGOLICK: ...sort of huddled over his computer finding whatever kind of story he could on this. Just never really getting away from it.

    VIEIRA: You...

    Mr. MARGOLICK: And I think that -- I think that Andy Madoff had a little bit more perspective on things. I mean, Andy had other businesses. Andy had had cancer. I mean, Andy sort of knew what problems were even before all this happened. He was in a sense conditioned.

    VIEIRA: Do you think Andy will reconnect with his mother, Ruth , who has now said that she blames Bernie Madoff for Mark 's death?

    Mr. MARGOLICK: I think it's very hard to say.

    VIEIRA: Yeah.

    Mr. MARGOLICK: I mean, we really don't know what the -- what the dynamics are within this family .

    VIEIRA: And ultimately, you know, Mark Madoff said that nobody would believe him when he said he was innocent. Did you believe him at the end?

    Mr. MARGOLICK: I sort of did believe him. I mean, the more that -- the more that I learned about the case and the more that I spoke to people who knew him, the more impressed I was that even people who had grievances against him, had every reason to resent him, still sort of brought him into their lives; investors, for instance. The family that owned the Mets didn't write him off. Another family invited them to their Passover seder . This is not something that you do to a co-conspirator.

    VIEIRA: Yeah. Very sad for his wife and children, for sure.

    Mr. MARGOLICK: That's...

    VIEIRA: David Margolick , thank you so much .


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