A hysterical Barbara Picower called 911 after seeing her husband, billionaire and close friend of Bernard Madoff, Jeffry Picower, at the bottom of her swimming pool. The Palm Beach Police Department just released the tape of the call that was placed around noon on Sunday.
"He's at the bottom of the pool," says a frantic and crying Mrs. Picower to the emergency operator on the other end of the line.
"I can't get him out and I don't know how long he's been in there... We're going to try to get him out of the pool I think he's been in there for a very long time," said Mrs. Picower.
Mrs. Picower told the operator she was with her housekeeper and that she was putting the operator on speaker phone so that they could try to get her husband out of the pool.
After about two minutes on the phone the operator asks for Mrs. Picower, but there is no answer.
A rescue vehicle's sirens can be heard two minutes and 15 seconds into the call.
The call ends after two minutes and 41 seconds.
Medical examiner Dr. Michael Bell told ABC News that the cause of death was a massive heart attack, which lead to drowning. The autopsy was performed today.
"There was a 15 minute window from the time that she saw him actually conscious and swimming in the pool until she went back out and saw that he was not responding and that he had actually gone to the bottom of the pool," a rescue worker told ABC News.
Palm Beach Fire Department spokesman Joe Sekula said that rescue workers found Picower without a pulse, and though they were able to restore his pulse in the ambulance, he died at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach.
Picower's attorney William Zabel told ABC News Sunday that the family was shocked at the death of his client and were grieving.
Marcia Horowitz, a spokeswoman for the Picower family, said today that Picower had a number of heart related medical issues, as well as Parkinson's disease.
No one benefited more from the Madoff scheme than Picower, according to bankruptcy lawyers who sued him and alleged he had taken out $7 billion more than he had put in.
Investigators told ABC News that Picower would also have likely faced criminal charges.
Some investigators considered Picower to have been the actual mastermind of Madoff's massive con, or at least an equal "partner in crime."
"He made 30 times what Madoff did from the scam and about a third of the missing money went to Picower," said one of the investigators on the case Sunday.
Picower, a tax shelter lawyer and accountant, was not well known in financial circles until his name surfaced in the Madoff case in the past few months. His $7 billion profit stunned other Madoff investors, many of whom lost their life savings.
Investigators say Madoff documents show that Picower regularly gave instructions for Madoff to create phony trades on his behalf so that he could withdraw billions.
The lawsuit brought by the bankruptcy trustee named Picower, his wife Barbara and the Picower Foundation, which gave generously to charities.