Madoff Insanity Defense / Fears Grow He May Do Himself In

The New York Daily News reports that disgraced financier Bernie Madoff, the mastermind behind an alleged $50bn fraud, could end up falling back on an insanity defense in order to avoid jail time.

The newspaper quotes sources who claim that Madoff, who is said to be heavily medicated, is exhibiting signs that he is losing his grip on reality, paving the way for a claim by lawyers that he is suffering from dementia, or a bipolar disorder. And his family are apparently on suicide watch, as they fear that Madoff could try to kill himself (it is unknown whether Madoff is aware that one of his investors, Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, killed himself last week due to losses he and clients suffered in the Madoff scandal).

In the meantime, Austria is thought likely to have to step in to run Bank Medici, after it was revealed that two of the bank's funds had some $2.1bn with Madoff. And Reuters reports that Hollywood actor Kevin Bacon and his wife are the latest to come out and confirm that they had money invested with the financier. The New York Times also reports that US regulators are extending their investigation into the affair, and are starting to look at the role offshore funds played in the scandal.

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