NEW YORK - The Manhattan district attorney has closed the well-publicized investigation of the handling of the $300 million fortune of reclusive heiress Huguette Clark — without charging anyone with a crime.
The news provides a note of vindication for Clark's attorney and accountant, who fell under suspicion after managing the finances of the copper heiress while she lived for two decades in a simple hospital room in New York City. Documents and testimony backed up the men's story: They were carrying out her wishes, not controlling her but doing as she directed, selling off her property to raise cash to fuel her relentless generosity to friends and strangers.
Even as she reached 104 years old, Clark remained lucid and competent, according to testimony of witnesses in the legal battle over Clark's last will and testament — including independent witnesses who received no gifts from her. Transcripts of all the depositions in the estate fight, from more than 50 witnesses, were examined by NBC News.
The assistant district attorney in the criminal investigation, Elizabeth "Liz" Loewy, visited Clark three times at Beth Israel Medical Center, finding no signs of delirium or confusion. Loewy held the hand of the 104-year-old patient in the summer of 2010, conversing with Clark in French and English.