Former Beverly Hills money manager Stanley Chais, who was accused of investing nearly $1 billion of his celebrity clients’ money in Bernard Madoff investment schemes, died Sunday in New York City.

A spokeswoman for the New York City chief medical examiner told the media that Chais, 84, died of natural causes. He had moved from California to New York to receive treatment for a blood disorder called myelodysplasia.

Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 felony counts in March 2009 and is serving a 150-year prison sentence. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in June 2009 accused Chais, whose clients included director Steven Spielberg, of being the largest middlemen funneling money to Madoff.

Chais claimed he was Madoff victim himself, and had lost nearly all his money in Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, in which an estimated $65 billion was taken from clients. The civil suit against Chais was stayed so that a criminal investigation could be pursued, but no charges were ever filed.

Survivors include his wife Pamela Chais, known for her writing work on the TV series “Maude,” “Rhoda” and “Scarecrow and Mrs. King.”

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