The New York Post has reported today that Justice A. Kirke Bartley has ordered Anthony Marshall to begin serving a prison sentence for looting the estate of his mother, socialite Brooke Astor who died at the age of 105 in 2007. Marshall, who at 89 is likely to be one of the oldest inmates of the New York State Penal system( the oldest is a 94 year old convicted murderer), first received notoriety several years ago when it was revealed that he had kept his elderly mother a virtual prisoner in squalid conditions in her vast estate in Westchester County New York. He was found, together with his attorney Francis X Morrissey to have forged a will in order to plunder his mother’s 185 million dollar estate.
Marshall and Morrissey mounted a years’ long challenge to their convictions in an attempt to stay out of jail but their appeals were dismissed. Morrissey, who stole from numerous wealthy elderly clients led a career reminiscent of Zero Mostel’s character Max Bialystok in "The Producers".
After Marshall’s son Philip discovered that his grandmother was sick and senile and living in her own filth, he alerted the authorities to his father’s elder abuse of Ms. Astor. The case grabbed national headlines, focusing attention on the issue of elder abuse and demonstrated that even the wealthiest and most powerful among us may be subject to horrendous mistreatment in our declining years.