NEW YORK — Andrew Madoff, the last surviving offspring of convicted Ponzi scheme architect Bernard Madoff, died Wednesday after a long struggle with cancer.
"Andrew Madoff has lost his courageous battle against mantle cell lymphoma," his attorney, Martin Flumenbaum, said in a statement.
Madoff, 48, died at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, surrounded by relatives, Flumenbaum said.
Funeral arrangements will be private, the attorney said.
According to the Lymphoma Research Foundation, mantle cell lymphoma is a relatively rare blood cancer that got its name because the tumor cells originate from the "mantle zone" of the body's lymph nodes.
Andrew Madoff's death came after his older brother, Mark Madoff, committed suicide by hanging himself at his New York City home on Dec. 11, 2010. That date marked the second anniversary of the collapse of the decades-long scam Bernard Madoff used to steal an estimated $20 billion from thousands of average investors, charities, celebrities and others worldwide.
Bernard Madoff, now 76, pleaded guilty without standing trial after he disclosed the scam's impending implosion to his sons, and they in turn contacted authorities. The disgraced financier is serving a 150-year prison sentence at the medium-security federal correctional institution in Butner, N.C.
Mark and Andrew Madoff worked at the market-making and proprietary trading division of their father's Manhattan-based business. They consistently maintained they were unaware of the massive fraud that operated in the firm's investment advisory division. Neither brother was ever criminally charged.
However, prosecution testimony during the recent conspiracy and fraud trial of five former Madoff employees alleged the brothers were present at a meeting where their father and other company executives discussed erasing potentially incriminating e-mails from a server before giving the data to the Securities and Exchange Commission for examination.
The former employees were convicted in March and are scheduled to be sentenced later this month.
Based in part on the prosecution testimony, Irving Picard, the trustee seeking Bernard Madoff's assets on behalf of victimized investors, in July sought approval to file an amended U.S. Bankruptcy Court lawsuit against the brothers. He sought the return of more than $153 million that Andrew and Mark Madoff received in what the action characterized as salaries, sham loans and phony trading profits.
In court filings last month, attorneys for the brothers asked the court to deny Picard's motion. They noted that a similar case the trustee filed against the Madoff sons in the United Kingdom, where Bernard Madoff's business also had an office, had ended in a "resounding" legal defeat.
Picard spokeswoman Amanda Remus said the trustee and his legal team "were very sorry to learn of Andrew Madoff's death and they extend their sympathies to his family."
Bernard Madoff's younger brother, Peter Madoff, 68, who ran the market-making division of the family business, pleaded guilty to doctoring records in 2012 and was sentenced to a 10-year prison term.
Ruth Madoff, 73, the Ponzi scheme architect's wife, has not been charged. Like her sons, she has maintained she had no knowledge of the fraud.