A 30-year-old man has been charged with murder in the death of his father, a multimillion-dollar hedge fund founder discovered fatally shot in his Manhattan apartment bedroom, police officials said Monday.
Thomas Gilbert Jr. was detained Sunday evening, several hours after his father, Thomas Gilbert Sr., the 70-year-old president of Wainscott Capital Partners, was found with a gunshot wound to the head in his Beekman Place apartment.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told reporters Monday that the son had gone to his parents' apartment Sunday afternoon and asked to speak to his father alone. Gilbert Sr.'s wife -- the mother of the younger Gilbert -- agreed and left to get some food for her son.
Fifteen minutes later, according to Boyce, "she had a bad feeling and decided to return" to the apartment. That's when she found the elder Gilbert dead on the floor. He had a gun resting on his chest, with his left hand covering it, according to Boyce.
The elder Gilbert was pronounced dead at the scene.
The mother told police where her son lived, and detectives proceeded to the West 18th Street home where they staked out in front of the building and obtained a search warrant, Boyce said. When they saw a light go off in the apartment, detectives knew he was home and executed the warrant, seizing evidence that connected the younger Gilbert to his father's homicide, including gun magazine clips, as well as credit cards and card skimming devices.
Gilbert Jr. was taken into police custody for questioning around 11 p.m. Sunday. He was arrested at around 11 a.m. Monday and was charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon, and later, forgery due to the skimming devices.
Law enforcement sources said the son had gotten into an argument with his parents a few weeks ago about money. The Gilberts were paying $2,400 a month for the younger Gilbert's rent and giving him $600 in allowance each week, the sources said. When Gilbert Sr. suggested cutting the allowance to $400 a week, the son left in a huff and didn't see his parents again until the day of the alleged murder, the sources said.
Gilbert was remanded to jail until his next court appearance Friday, when his attorneys, Marc Agnifilo and Andrea Zellan, are expected to make a bail request. They did not comment about the case Monday, only telling reporters: "It's just too early to say anything."
Law enforcement sources said the weapon used in the killing was purchased at a gun store in Ohio. Police are investigating how it wound up in the son's hands. NYPD sources say he was having financial problems, among other difficulties, prior to the shooting.
Authorities say the younger Gilbert has also been arrested in the past for a drug-related offense.
This was not his only brush with the law. In September 2014, a misdemeanor complaint and order of protection was filed to prevent the younger Gilbert from contacting a man he had allegedly assaulted in Brooklyn. According to police sources, this protection order was violated.
Two weeks after that violation, a Hamptons home belonging to the assault victim's family burned down in what authorities say was a suspected arson. A man who says he was an acquaintance of Gilbert Jr. and of the alleged victim's family told us that the family believes Gilbert Jr. was involved, although he was never named as a suspect and they have no direct evidence to support this theory.
The elder Gilbert founded his hedge fund in 2011 and helped build it into thriving firm. The fund has $200 million in assets and focuses on the biotech and health care industries.
Business operations at Wainscott are "on hold," Clay LeConey, the fund's vice president for sales and marketing, said when reached at the company's office in the city. LeConey said the fund would not issue a further statement on the death of its founder.
A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Business School, the elder Gilbert had more than 40 years of investing experience. He previously co-founded Syzygy Therapeutics, a biotech asset acquisition fund. Both father and son attended exclusive private schools in Massachusetts in their youths.
The shooting was a rare act of violence on Beekman Place, a tony enclave just north of the United Nations headquarters.