Most people suspeced as much, but when it's coming from the bank that's investigating the issues, it's all the more damning: The NY Times reports that JP Morgan Chase is looking into whether $14 million worth of "cash, property and stocks" was "improperly obtained" by Anthony Marshall from his ailing 104 year old mother, Brooke Astor. After the drama and accusations of Marshall refusing to buy his mother non-skid socks, leaving her nurses to do so, or maybe selling her favorite painting without her knowledge, the attention will now be on financial accounting. JP Morgan Chase, which is a temporary court-appointed guardian for Astor (along with her friend Annette de la Renta) and will be paid for its work by Astor's funds, filed papers in court saying that “The evidence developed as of now supports the conclusion that transfers of Mrs. Astor’s assets were made not for her benefit, but for the benefit of Anthony Marshall or his wife, or for the benefit of entities he owned or controlled. Some of these transactions, at least on their face, cannot be explained except as an exercise in impropriety."
How? According to the article, Marshall used his mother's money to pay taxes on gifts (a home in Maine and securities) that she gave him and that he paid bumped up his salary for managing his mother's affairs from $450,000 in 2004 to $2 million in 2005. Marshall's lawyer says that JP Morgan Chase's are without merit and that Astor knew about these dealings, but the bank questions whether she was even competent to make these decisions. It will be difficult to prove Astor's state of mind during certain key moments, but Marshall using his mother's money to maintain his Manhattan apartment (and her old house in Maine that he now owns)? That sounds fishy.