Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Getty Trust Under Investigation

J. Paul Getty died in 1976 and was, at the time, the richest person in the United States.

A considerable portion of Getty's fortune was used to create the J. Paul Getty Trust which runs the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation.

Bill Lockyer, the attorney general of California, has recently begun a detailed investigation into the finances of the trust according to newspaper reports such as John M. Broder, California Investigates Getty Trust Finances, NY Times, Aug. 3, 2005.  It seems that one or more of the trustees may have made inappropriate expenditures in breach of their duties such as first-class airline tickets, staying in lavish hotels, and renting high-end cars such as a Porsche Cayenne.

There is also an allegation that the Trust sold a parcel of real property to a close friend of one of the trustees for $700,000 less than its appraised value.


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