Monday, March 30, 2009

Astor Trial About to Begin

This morning's New York Times previews the criminal trial of Brooke Astor's son, Anthony Marshall, and his co-defendant, Francis X. Morrissey Jr., a lawyer who was involved in her estate planning. Jury selection begins today, and the Times reminds us that an art-related charge is at the center of the case:

"Both men face charges of conspiracy and scheming to defraud. Mr. Marshall ... also faces a charge of first-degree grand larceny, the most serious count on the indictment, for selling one of his mother’s Childe Hassam paintings for $10 million and pocketing $2 million as commission. If convicted of the top count, he could face up to 25 years in prison. ... The indictment against Mr. Marshall contends that he tricked his mother into thinking it was necessary to sell the Hassam painting, 'Up the Avenue from 34th Street,' by telling her she was running out of money."