Brooke Astor’s son and his lawyer were convicted Thursday of looting the Manhattan socialite’s $185 million fortune by conning her into signing doctored wills as she suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.
After more than nineteen weeks of trial, including portrayal on prosecution’s part of Mrs. Astor’s son, Anthony Marshall, an 85-year-old war veteran, as a greedy individual and driven to squeeze his mother for money at the urging of his wife, Charlene, and testimony by the likes of Henry Kissinger, Barbara Walters, Kofi Annan and Annette de la Renta, among others, the jury of eight women and four men found Brooke Astor’s son, Anthony, guilty.
According to NYT, jurors convicted the philanthropist’s son on giving himself an unauthorized raise of about $1 million for managing his mother’s finances. Prosecutors contended that Mrs. Astor’s Alzheimer’s had advanced so far that there was no way she could have consented to this raise and other financial decisions that benefited Mr. Marshall.
A second defendant in the case, Francis X. Morrissey, 66, a lawyer who did estate planning for Mrs. Astor, was convicted of forgery charges.
Mrs. Astor, a legendary New York society matriarch who passed away at age 105, may have been best known for channeling large sums toward New York charities and cultural institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Bronx Zoo, the Times said.
Marshall’s sentencing is set for Dec. 8. He can be sentenced to anywhere from 1 to 25 years behind bars.