Earlier this year, MSNBC.com reported on the curious case of Huguette Clark, the 104-year-old heiress to father William A. Clark, whom Mark Twain once described as" a shame to the American nation, and no one has helped to send him to the Senate who did not know that his proper place was the penitentiary, with a chain and ball on his legs." After living in a 42-room home at 907 Fifth Avenue, Clark has spent the last 20 years as the "princess" of Beth Israel Hospital, with her finances handled by Attorney Wallace Bock and accountant Irving Kamsler. Now, the Manhattan DA is investigating whether or not Bock and Kamsler have been stealing her $500-million fortune.
Investigators questioned Bock's paralegal over a $10,000 dollhouse Clark reportedly bought for Bock's granddaughter, and $1.5 million Clark allegedly gave Bock in cash. The dollhouse gift wouldn't be difficult to swallow; Clark reportedly spent much of her inheritance amassing a collection of French dolls. One friend said, "Her closest friends have always been her dolls." And before she moved into the hospital, she was generous with her money; doormen at her Fifth Avenue building each received a $500 check for Christmas. However, neighbors rarely saw her, and in the 1980s she left on a stretcher for Beth Israel and has not been seen since. Hospital reps wouldn't even confirm to the Post that Clark was there.
Bock's spokesman said, "Ms. Clark's services have been handled with great care and professionalism over the years and consistent with her wishes for privacy. Any inquiry will confirm that all matters have been handled appropriately." However, Bock has reportedly turned away relatives of Clark who wanted to visit her, though it's unclear if that is because Clark had no desire to see them or if he was attempting to cover something up.
Clark has also reportedly gone into debt in the past few years. Tax records show she had a $2.1 million debt in 2006 and 2007, and Bock and Kamsler recently sold her Stradivarius violin for $6 million and auctioned off a Renoir painting for $23.5 million. She is said to have told friends that wealth is a "menace to happiness."