Wally Bock is a long time member of Community Board 9 Queens...
Msnbc.com readers have prompted New York City officials to start checking on the welfare of Huguette Clark, the reclusive 104-year-old heiress with three empty mansions.
|This is the last known photo of Huguette Clark, taken 80 years ago. She has hidden away in a New York hospital room for at least the past 22 years. This photo was made on Aug. 11, 1930, the day of her divorce, in Reno, Nev.|
|Wallace "Wally" Bock, attorney for Huguette Clark. He and accountant Irving H. Kamsler have owned property together that was signed over to them by an elderly colleague and client|
Msnbc.com reported last week that Clark's attorney and accountant became the owners of the New York City apartment of another elderly client after his last will and testament was revised six times. Attorney Wallace "Wally" Bock arranged to quietly sell Clark's Stradivarius violin for $6 million and a Renoir painting for $23.5 million, and one of her three luxury homes is on the market now for $24 million. Msnbc.com also revealed that her accountant, Irving H. Kamsler, has a criminal conviction for sending pornography to underage girls in an AOL chat room, according to court records.
|A booking photo from the arrest of Huguette Clark's accountant, Irving H. Kamsler, charged with attempting to distribute indecent material to 13- and 15-year-old girls online. He pleaded guilty in 2008 and remains a registered sex offender.|
On Monday, the agency reached out to Clark's distant relatives and the hospital where she lives. A caseworker will try to get permission to visit her in the hospital and to gather other information, Rivera said.
If that permission isn't granted, the agency could then seek a court order. The agency will evaluate her physical and mental condition and living conditions, and look for signs of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation. Adult Protective Services will work with the district attorney to share information, she said.
The criminal inquiry is being conducted by the Elder Abuse Unit of the New York County District Attorney's Office, which investigated the finances of Brooke Astor, the society matron and heiress whose son and attorney were convicted in 2009 of siphoning $10 million from her. Astor died in 2007 at age 105, with an estate worth $131 million.
A spokeswoman for Vance, Erin Duggan, said the office has a policy of not confirming whether an investigation is being conducted. Msnbc.com confirmed independently that detectives are making inquiries.
|Le Beau Château, Huguette Clark's country home in New Canaan, Conn., is on the market at $24 million. Huguette bought it in 1952, expanded it, and never moved in.|
Clark's assets include more than $200 million in three unoccupied luxury homes:
A $100 million Pacific cliffside estate on 23 acres in Santa Barbara, Calif. She hasn't visited it in at least 50 years.
A country house on 52 acres in New Canaan, Conn., on the market now for $24 million. She expanded the house in 1952 but never moved in.
A massive apartment in New York City, 907 Fifth Ave. at 72nd Street, the largest apartment on that storied avenue overlooking Central Park. Her 42 rooms on two floors occupy 15,000 square feet. A real estate agent who has sold apartments in that building values Clark's at roughly $100 million. She hasn't been seen here in about 22 years.
Bock, 78, arranged to sell the $6 million Stradivarius violin that her mother gave her for her 50th birthday, according to the dealer who handled the sale. The buyer signed a confidentiality agreement when Clark was 95 years old, agreeing not to disclose who sold the violin for at least 10 years.
Kamsler, 63, pleaded guilty in 2008 to sending pornography to underage girls in an AOL chat room, according to court records. He was using the AOL handle IRV1040 (as in his first name, Irving, and the IRS 1040 tax form). He also, like his client Clark, had a federal tax lien for unpaid taxes.
The attorney and the accountant became owners of property that was signed over to them by another elderly client in New York City, according to court records. The man, who was Bock's law partner, suffered from dementia in his later years, according to his goddaughter and neighbors. Before he died, he signed over to Bock and Kamsler his New York apartment in the Dorchester, at 57th Street near Park Avenue, as well as his Mercedes and $200,000 — in addition to the $380,000 in fees they collected for managing his $4 million estate.
Bock and Kamsler arranged to sell Clark's Renoir in 2003 for $23.5 million. Her country home in New Canaan, Conn., is on the market for $24 million.
Access to her is tightly controlled. Relatives who tried to visit her New York hospital room have been turned away by the attorney, though one persistent half-great-niece got as far as the room where Clark was asleep. (We are not revealing the name of the hospital.)
Kamsler is said to visit regularly. Bock told msnbc.com in January that he speaks with her frequently by phone and has met her only twice — the first of her seven attorneys to meet her face to face.
Huguette ("hue-GET") Marcelle Clark is the last surviving child of William Andrews Clark (1839-1925), a copper miner and U.S. senator who in his time was said to be neck and neck with John D. Rockefeller for the title of richest American. Clark made a fortune in Montana copper, banks and railroads, collected a museum full of art from Europe, and owned the land that would become Las Vegas, where Clark County is named for him.
Bock drew up the wills for one of his law partners, Donald Wallace, who died in 2002 at age 76. Wallace's will — the sixth one drawn up by Bock — left his apartment to Bock and Kamsler, gave each man $100,000 and left Kamsler his Mercedes sedan. Though the co-op board refused to hand over the apartment to the two men, a change to Wallace's will left it to the attorney and accountant. In his final days, when according to his goddaughter and a neighbor he had severe dementia, Wallace was subletting his own apartment from his attorney and accountant, according to probate records in the Surrogate's Court in New York City. (You can read the documents in this PDF file.)
Property records in New York show Kamsler also had trouble with the IRS, with a tax lien in 2003 for $18,853, paid off three months later. Huguette Clark has had her own tax liens — four times the IRS has filed to collect taxes from her.
|Renoir painted "In the Roses" in 1882. Huguette Clark's attorney sold it for her in 2003 through Sotheby's for $23.5 million. The buyer was Steve Wynn, the developer of casinos in Las Vegas — where the land once was owned by Huguette Clark's father.|
Neither Bock nor Kamsler would respond to questions about these incidents.