Two years ago, shortly after his father summoned him to his posh upper East Side Manhattan home to disclose the $60 billion Ponzi scheme that has cost so many their life's savings, he told friends that despite his own involvement in his father's business affairs, he was stunned when he learned of the scam. His lawyer had instructed him to have no communication at all with his father, or with his mother, Ruth Madoff, who Mark Madoff is said to have considered "an enabler."
Eleanor Squillari, Bernie Madoff's long-time personal secretary who has always believed the sons were innocent, was in tears this morning on learning the news.
"I have a hard time believing this. Mark was so sweet. He was a wonderful person and I cared about him very much. This doesn't seem like the Mark we knew."
The trustee appointed by the court to recover funds for Madoff investment fraud victims, Irving Picard, had filed numerous lawsuits against Mark and other Madoff family members seeking to recover billions.
In a statement, Picard said that Mark Madoff's death "is a tragic development and my sympathy goes out to Mark Madoff's family."
On Thursday, Picard named Mark Madoff and other family members as respondents in an $80 million suit filed against Madoff Securities International Ltd. (MSIL), the London office of the Madoff investment company.
The deadline for Picard to file suits is today at midnight.
The Bureau of Prisons cited privacy concerns in declining to answer whether Bernie Madoff had been notified of his son's death. Officials told ABC News that normally the notification would be made by staff members at the institution housing the inmate. In Madoff's case, BOP policy allows an inmate at Butner Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, North Carolina to be considered for a furlough or an escorted trip to the funeral. But it is by no means guaranteed that a request by Madoff would be granted.
Madoff gave a surprisingly early Christmas bonus and card to the workers at the garage where he parked his black Range Rover.
Garage worker Claudio Siguencia told ABC News he was surprised when Mark Madoff came to the garage on Thursday and gave him a card that said "Merry Christmas from Mark and Stephanie" and a $400 check. Claudio, who said Madoff seemed "sad," was a generous tipper who usually gave his bonus just a few days before Christmas.
Siguencia said Madoff gave him a hug Friday night and said, "Goodbye."
Nikolay Reva, a salesmen at the Prada store near the family's apartment, said Mark Madoff and family often shopped at the store and that Madoff was down and depressed after his father's Ponzi scheme unraveled.
"You can see the person deteriorating after after what happened," said Reva. "He was still friendly just wasn't as talkative."
Reva said the Madoffs had stoped coming into the store as regularly two years ago.
"They were very nice people -- very genuine," said Reva. "He was very friendly. My associate is crying right now."
"I don't think it's the last of this tragedy," said Nick Casale, a former senior NYPD official who provided security for Mark Madoff after his father's arrest.