67-year-old Jeffry Picower was found dead in the pool at his $33 million Palm Beach oceanside mansion at 1410 South Ocean Boulevard yesterday afternoon, leaving lots of unfinished business. Picower was the guy who helped Madoff manage his Ponzi scheme, and he appears to have made even more money in the grift than his mentor - as much as $7.2 billion. Picower, whose rates of return on his Madoff investments sometimes reached as much as 100 percent, was under investigation by trustees filing suit on behalf of Madoff's jilted investors, and lawyers say his death will make it a lot harder to recoup the billions they had hoped for.
It's still unclear how he died, but Palm Beach police have reported that Picower suffered from both Parkinsons and heart disease, so he may simply have drowned. The timing's fishy, and he had plenty of reasons to off himself, but who'd commit suicide on a sunny Sunday morning with a view of the ocean?
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Another local drowning death is just as mysterious, but caused barely a ripple. Police are asking for help identifying a Hispanic male found dead in a canal in John Prince Park last Monday.