Prosecutor: Astor's son 'morally depraved'

Sept. 17, 2009 at 6:11 PM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Brooke Astor's son was a "morally depraved" man who tricked his Alzheimer's-plagued mother into changing her will to get millions, a New York prosecutor said.

Anthony Marshall "waited and waited with the undertaker's shovel in hand for his mother to die" -- and Astor "committed the unforgivable sin of living too long," prosecutor Joel Seidemann told state Supreme Court jurors in closing arguments.

Marshall faces up to 25 years in prison for allegedly strong-arming his frail, century-old mother -- a philanthropist and socialite who died in 2007 -- into signing over more than $60 million in bequests, money long promised to New York City institutions.

Even though Marshall stood to inherit $23 million when Astor turned 100, that was not enough to satisfy his "insatiable greed," Seidemann said.

He even lifted expensive paintings off her walls, leaving behind only the nails, the New York Post quoted Seidemann as saying.

Charges against Marshall include several counts of grand larceny for taking artwork from Astor's New York City apartment, selling her Frederick Childe Hassam impressionist painting for $10 million and keeping a $2 million commission and giving himself a pay raise for managing her money, The New York Times said.

Seidemann told jurors Marshall used his mother "as his own little piggy bank, as his own ATM."

Seidemann's closing arguments are scheduled to continue Friday. The jury is expected to begin deliberations Monday.

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