NEW YORK – A son accused of killing his hedge-fund founder father over an argument about allowance learned Friday he had been indicted, although the charges haven't yet been made public.
Tommy Gilbert, 30, appeared in court briefly in an orange jail jumpsuit and sneakers to hear whether he had been indicted in Sunday's shooting, which left biotechnology investor Thomas Gilbert Sr. dead on the floor of his apartment on Manhattan's tony Beekman Place and put a spotlight on his privileged son's problems.
The son's lawyer, Alex Spiro, called the circumstances "tragic" Friday but didn't comment further. The charges will be released at a Feb. 5 arraignment.
Authorities say the younger Gilbert shot his father — then tried to make it appear the older man killed himself — after being threatened with a cut of a few hundred dollars in his monthly allowance.
The son went to his parents' home and asked his mother for a word alone with his dad, police said. She left to get her son some food. Worried, she returned to the apartment about 15 minutes later to find her 70-year-old husband with a bullet wound in his head and gun resting on his chest with his hand over it, police Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce has said.
Investigators concluded the scene was staged to look like a suicide, and they soon arrested Gilbert. In his apartment in Manhattan's chic Chelsea neighborhood, authorities found bullets, empty shell casings, 21 blank credit cards and a device for stealing card numbers, according to a court complaint.
A 2009 Princeton University graduate, Gilbert Jr. circulated among the Manhattan society fundraiser scene, hung out in the Hamptons and recently filed papers signaling plans to start his own hedge fund.
But he was in debt and had no recent work history, and his mother told police he had a tense relationship with his Wall Street father and a history of mental illness, authorities said. He also was facing a criminal contempt case accusing him of harassing a friend in the Hamptons — and he'd been questioned about a suspicious fire that burned down the friend's father's mansion, Southampton Town police said. No arrests have been made in the arson probe.
The elder Gilbert, a Harvard Business School and Princeton alumnus, worked on Wall Street for more than 40 years, according to a bio on the website of his firm, Wainscott Capital Partners Fund. Founded in 2011, it concentrates on health care and biotech companies.
He'd previously co-founded a biotech asset acquisition fund and ran an online teacher education company.
Associated Press writer Jennifer Peltz contributed to this report.