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Money manager with Madoff ties may be a suicide

Globe Wire Services / December 24, 2008
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A New York money manager who may have lost $1.4 billion of client funds invested with Bernard L. Madoff apparently killed himself in his Madison Avenue office.

The body of Thierry Magon de La Villehuchet, 65, a cofounder and chief executive of Access International Advisors, was found yesterday morning.

"Our investigative premise is that it was a suicide," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

De La Villehuchet was found "with his feet propped up on his desk, a trash pail nearby to collect blood," and no sign of a second person, Kelly said. He had "multiple stab wounds" to his arms and wrists, and a box-cutter and pills were nearby. No suicide note was found.

The company raised money mainly from wealthy Europeans.

The death came as lawsuits mounted in connection with investors victimized by Madoff, who was arrested on Dec. 11 for allegedly running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

For example, Fairfield Greenwich Group, a hedge-fund firm that had $7.5 billion invested with Madoff, has been sued for allegedly failing to protect clients' assets. And a New York woman who says she lost most of her savings is seeking $1.7 million in damages from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

SEC chairman Christopher Cox said on Dec. 16 that the agency failed to act on "credible and specific allegations" of wrongdoing by Madoff dating back to at least 1999.

The tally of investors hurt by Madoff continues to grow. Pedro Almodovar, the Spanish film director, has about $280,000 at risk, the Spanish daily El Economista reported.

Access managed $3 billion and had 26 employees, according to marketing documents dated September. Its LUXALPHA SICAV-American Selection fund invested solely with Madoff.

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