WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Jeffry Picower, who was accused of making more than $7 billion off the investment schemes of jailed financial manager Bernard Madoff, drowned after having a heart attack, authorities said yesterday.
Picower, 67, was found at about noon Sunday by his wife, Barbara, at the bottom of a pool at their oceanside mansion. She pulled him from the water with help from a housekeeper. He died a short time later at a nearby hospital.
An autopsy yesterday showed he suffered a heart attack and drowned, said Dr. Michael Bell, chief medical examiner for Palm Beach County. The death has been ruled accidental, and the heart attack was brought on by heart disease. Toxicology tests are pending.
Police had been investigating the death, pending the autopsy results. They now say the case is closed.
Picower had been accused by investors of being the biggest beneficiary of Madoff’s schemes. In a lawsuit to recover Madoff’s assets, trustee Irving Picard demanded Picower return more than $7 billion in bogus profits. Picard has said the litigation could continue.