Officials report that businessman Steven Hoffenberg, who was close friends with Jeffrey Epstein

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and entered a guilty plea in connection with one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in American history,

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has been found dead at his residence in Connecticut. He was 77. At 8 o'clock on Tuesday night,

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according to Derby, Connecticut police, authorities went to Hoffenberg's apartment to check on him.

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The body was "in a state where a visual identification could not be made" when they arrived,

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they discovered. An autopsy was conducted on the body on Wednesday at the chief medical examiner's

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office. No trauma was found during the initial inspection, but the cause of death is still unknown pending

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additional toxicology research, according to authorities. Hoffenberg's body is thought to be it,

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though a definitive identification has not yet been made. Police stated in a statement on Thursday

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that "a subsequent dental record comparison is underway to make a positive identification and

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subsequent notifications to appropriate next of kin." They gave no other information in the statement.

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