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Citing shame, danger, one Madoff seeks name change

Bernard Madoff walks back to his apartment in New York in this December 17, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/Files

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A family member of imprisoned Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff wants to change her last name to “avoid additional embarrassment, harassment and endangerment.”

Stephanie Madoff, who is married to Madoff’s son Mark, has asked New York Supreme Court for permission to change her last name to Morgan and also, according to local media reports, made similar requests for her two young children.

“In or about December 2008, (Stephanie Madoff) was notified of certain death and other threats made against the Madoff family,” according to court papers filed on Wednesday.

“Though the threats were deemed unfounded, (Stephanie Madoff) fears for her safety and the safety of her children,” the papers said.

Madoff, 71, pleaded guilty last March to running Wall Street’s biggest investment fraud involving as much as $65 billion, and he is serving a 150-year prison sentence.

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Eric Walsh