Helmsley’s billions going to the dogs — literally

Report: Real estate magnate, who died in 2007, left instructions in a trust

Jennifer Graylock / AP File

Leona Helmsley and her dog Trouble in Helmsley’s Park Lane Hotel apartment on January 31, 2003, in New York.

MSNBC News Services

updated 2:49 a.m. CT, Wed., July. 2, 2008

The late hotelier and real estate magnate Leona Helmsley left between $5 billion and $8 billion to be used for the care and welfare of dogs, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Helmsley, who died last August, specified in her final "mission statement" that the money be used for canine welfare, although those instructions are "not necessarily legally binding," the Times quoted William Josephson, a lawyer who is the former head of the Charities Bureau in the New York state attorney general’s office.

But the statement is the only clear expression of Helmsley’s intent, the Times said.

Helmsley’s billions going to the dogs – Wonderful World- msnbc.com

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