September 23, 2014
NEW YORK (AP) - Senior citizens' advocates say New York City philanthropist Brooke Astor is a poster child for an insidious kind of financial crime.
But they and legal experts say the convictions of her son and a lawyer for exploiting her mental decline to raid her $200 million estate show that such prosecutions can succeed.
Astor died in 2007 at age 105. The AARP calls her mistreatment "the most infamous case of financial elder abuse in recent memory."
Criminal cases in which ailing elderly people are conned by identity theft, real estate scams or light-fingered caregivers are fairly common. But experts say prosecutions as high-stakes as the Astor case are rare.