Anthony Marshall, the decorated World War II veteran and the only child of philanthropist Brooke Astor, died today at age 90. His wife Charlene posted a paid obituary announcing, "A very great man has died today." Naturally, that did not mention how he was convicted of looting his mother's estate.
Marshall was found guilty of grand larceny in 2009, with the jury believing the prosecution's claim that he was trying to increase his wealth to meet wife's demand for more money. From the NY Times:
In a six-month trial that captivated New York with clashing accounts of tawdry greed and filial devotion, a parade of witnesses that included boldface names from the worlds of society, politics and finance as well as maids and nurses, took turns castigating and defending Mr. Marshall and the lawyer, Francis X. Morrissey Jr., who did estate planning for Mrs. Astor.
Concluding 12 days of deliberations on Oct. 8, 2009, a jury in State Supreme Court in Manhattan convicted Mr. Marshall on 14 of 16 counts, including first-degree grand larceny for giving himself a $1 million retroactive raise for managing his mother’s finances. Mr. Morrissey was found guilty of fraud and conspiracy and of forging Mrs. Astor’s signature on an amendment to her will.
The jury found that both men had taken advantage of Mrs. Astor’s failing mental health to gain control over her fortune by inducing her to change her will several years before she died in 2007 at age 105.
The faked will would have given Marshall most of Astor's $180 million estate, instead of numerous charities.
Marshall's own son Philip Marshall prompted the investigation into how Marshall was handling Astor's finances, when he contended that his grandmother was living in tattered nightgowns in a filthy, cold apartment. So the paid obituary in the NY Times notes, "Tony very much loved his three stepchildren, Arden, Inness and Robert and three step-grandchildren James, Lyon and Weston who showered him with love, affection and respect particularly his stepson Robert with whom he formed an everlasting and most loving bond."
There's no mention of Brooke Astor either. The Times' article about Marshall death is headlined, "Anthony D. Marshall, Son of Brooke Astor Convicted in Swindle, Dies at 90."
Marshall went to prison last year, but was released early because of his deteriorating health.