Louis Lanzano  /  AP
Anthony Marshall and his wife, Charlene, are shown exiting New York City's St. Thomas Episcopal Church following the funeral services for his mother, Brooke Astor, on Aug. 17.
updated 11/27/2007 12:17:04 PM ET 2007-11-27T17:17:04

Broadway producer Anthony D. Marshall, the son of philanthropist Brooke Astor, was indicted Tuesday on charges of plundering her $198 million estate.

An indictment charges Marshall, 83, with grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, forgery, scheme to defraud, falsifying business records, offering a false instrument for filing and conspiracy.

The top count, grand larceny, is punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

Marshall's former attorney, Francis X. Morrissey Jr., also has been indicted on those charges.

"The indictment charges that Marshall and Morrissey took advantage of Mrs. Astor's diminished mental capacity in a scheme to defraud her and others out of millions of dollars," said District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.

Marshall's son, Philip, prompted the criminal investigation last year after he accused his father of neglecting Astor's care and stealing her money.

Anthony Marshall, a former diplomat and Tony award winning producer, has denied all allegations that he abused his mother's trust — saying that he cared about her more than anyone else.

Michael S. Ross, attorney for Morrissey, said on Monday that his client was out of town and would return later in the week to be arraigned.

Prosecutors declined to comment.

The family feud became public about a year before Astor's death in August at age 105, when Philip Marshall, claimed his father was enriching himself at the expense of Astor's estate and allowing his grandmother to live in squalor.

Image: Brooke Astor
Serge J-F. Levy / AP file
The late New York City socialite Brooke Astor is shown in a May 1, 1997, file photo.
A Manhattan grand jury has heard testimony for almost a month about the district attorney's investigation of how Anthony Marshall and Morrissey managed Astor's estate and related documents.

Philip Marshall, a college professor, has sued both men, accusing them of misappropriating cash, real estate, securities and other property belonging to his grandmother.

Philip Marshall's spokesman Frazier Seitel said his client had testified before the grand jury.

Astor was the widow of Vincent Astor, a great-great-grandson of John Jacob Astor, who made a fortune in fur trading and New York real estate.

Anthony Marshall is the son of Brooke Astor's first husband, J. Dryden Kuser, whom she divorced. He took the name of her second husband, stockbroker Charles "Buddie" Marshall, who died in 1952. The marriage to Vincent Astor came a year later.

In the decades after her third husband's death in 1959, Astor gave away nearly $200 million to New York's great cultural institutions and a host of humbler projects, winning a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, in 1998.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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