Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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Brooke Astor's Son Found Guilty In Estate Trial

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The son of the late socialite Brooke Astor was convicted Thursday on 14 of 16 counts of plundering the estate of his mother.

Anthony Marshall, 85, seen above, was convicted of scheming to defraud his ailing mother, to get her to change her will. Other convictions included falsifying business records, forgery and possession of stolen property.

He was found not guilty of two counts but was convicted of

Judge A. Kirke Bartley called the jurors a "good jury."

"I'm stunned by the verdict. We're greatly disappointed. And we'll definitely be appealing the conviction," said Defense Attorney Fred Hafetz.

Estate attorney Francis Morrissey was also convicted of all counts of larceny and scheming to defraud Astor.

"The saddest part of the whole case was that my understanding was that in Mrs. Astor's later years - 2001, 2002 - she was made to feel afraid. No amount of money, no amount of criminal trials can undo that," said Susan Robbins, Astor's guardianship attorney.

The late philanthropist, who died at age 105 in 2007, left an estate worth nearly $200 million.

"I feel badly for Tony Marshall," said Robbins. "I doubt that it was all his own doing. But I feel that for Francis Morrissey there have certainly been allegations that he has exploited other elderly people in the past, so that doesn't come as a big surprise for me."

Marshall will be sentenced on December 8 where he will face a mandatory minimum of one year behind bars and could be sentenced to as much as 25 years.

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