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Astor's Son in Prison Soon As Appeal in Estate Looting Fails

Image: Astor's Son in Prison Soon As Appeal in Estate Looting Fails Anthony Marshall, son of late philanthropist Brooke Astor.

By Alexandra Ward   |   Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 01:48 PM

A Manhattan appellate court upheld the bulk of Anthony Marshall's conviction Tuesday, ruling that the 88-year-old son of New York socialite and philanthropist Brooke Astor will face one to three years in prison for looting his mother's $185 million fortune.

The Manhattan Appellate Division upheld Marshall's original 2009 conviction Tuesday and struck down the octogenarian's request that he be allowed to avoid jail time because of his advanced age and medical condition.

Only one of Marshall's 14 convictions was thrown out — a minor grand larceny charge.

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"We are not convinced that as an aged felon Marshall should be categorically immune from incarceration," the judges wrote. "And it is generally inappropriate to use the interest of justice as a device for granting dispensations from mandatory sentencing statutes."

Marshall was convicted in October 2009 of siphoning millions of dollars from Brooke Astor and accused of keeping his mother in squalid conditions during her final years. A subsequent investigation reportedly uncovered Marshall's use of deceptive means to add an amendment to his mother's will, an act that resulted in the theft of millions from her estate.

Marshall's attorney, Francis Morrissey, was also convicted in the scheme.He has been free since then, pending the appeal.

It was unclear whether Marshall would go to jail immediately following Tuesday's ruling or remain free to see if his attorneys would seek further legal action, according to Reuters.

"I hope my father does not go to jail," Marshall’s son, Philip, told the New York Daily News. It was Philip's accusations of elder abuse that led to the criminal investigation of his father. "This said, I believe that by affirming all but one of his convictions the court sent a critical message that elder abuse and exploitation are a crime — and reprehensible."

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Astor, who for decades was top supporter of cultural institutions and charities in New York City, died in 2007 at age 105. She had been married to Vincent Astor and inherited part of a fortune made in fur trading and real estate by John Jacob Astor in the late 1700s and early 1800s.

Related story:

In Honor of Brooke Astor

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