French Aristocrat Commits Suicide Amidst Madoff Scandal

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Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, a French investor, took his own life after losing over $1 billion (U.S.) of his clients' money to Bernard Madoff in Madoff’s alleged $50-billion Ponzi scheme.

On Monday night, the distinguished 65-year-old aristocrat ordered the janitors out of his Madison Avenue office by 7:00 p.m. Tuesday morning, Mr. de la Villehuchet was found by a security guard near a garbage can positioned to catch the blood.

Mr. de la Villehuchet, owner of Access International Advisors, and former Chairman and CEO of Credit Lyonnais Securities USA, possessed a client roster, which included European dignitaries and royalty.

Described as irreproachable, honorable and generous by people who knew him, de la Villehuchet, nevertheless, faced threats of lawsuits from angry investors eager to recover their losses, criticizing Mr. de la Villehuchet’s failure to thoroughly examine Madoff’s credentials, which could explain his untimely demise.

Mr. de la Villehuchet lived a life of affluence in Westchester.  He was known to be an avid sailor and member of the New York Yacht Club, participating regularly in regattas with European high society.  

It is said, that a person’s life flashes before their eyes during the course of dying. One can only imagine the Deja vous Mr. Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet experienced during his pill induced golden slumber and slashed wrists that eventually devoured his tormented soul.  

This incident would certainly compel one to place great value on the important things in life, like the warm hugs, tender kisses and radiant smiles of the people we love; perhaps even kind words from a stranger.

What a tragic end for a man who is held in such high admiration and esteem.  The bitter irony being the legacy he leaves behind for those who did not know him well being, "Poor Mr. de la Villehuchet."  

As we anticipate all the pleasures of Christmas, let the death of Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet be a reminder and a lesson to us all this calm Christmas Eve, filled with all of life's beauty and possibilities.  Whether you roll with the Trumps or the Clumps, please keep in perspective what is really important.

Jeanne Wyche is Managing Editor of The Black Star News and Harlem
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