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The Moodys: An old Family fortune faces radical change One of the oldest family fortunes in Texas is under legal siege. Investigations by a federal grand jury and the Texas Attorney General's office could lead to a radical restructuring of Galveston's Moody Foundation, which controls 25 percent of the $3.7 bilion American National Insurance Co. (ANICO). The investigations center on Moody Foundation trustee and board member Shearn Moody Jr.
The Houston federal grand jury is looking into foreign bank accounts allegedly held grand jury probe is linked to his ongoing bankruptcy proceedings.
The state attorney general's investigation focuses on a series of Moody Foundation grants going back as far as 1982 to a host of right-wing organizations. Close observers believe that the probe may eventually lead directly to Shearn Moody.
Moody, 53, has been in and out of the headlines for most of his life. He depleted his once considerable fortune trying to regain control of a bankruptcy insurance company and a private bank. Moody is under suspicion of funneling foundation funds to his ongoing legal battles.
At stake is control of the Moody Foundation, which in 1985 gave $18 million to Texas institutions. The foundation must confine its giving to areas of education, health and science, community and social services, the arts, humanities and religion. The bulk of Moody Foundation grants now go to science. Much of the foundation's beneficence has stayed on Galveston Island although substantial sums have been given across Texas.
Coincidental to the current investigations was the death last month of 94-year-old Mary Moody Northen, matriarch of the Moody clan. Her death left open one of the three trustee positions on the foundation board. The other two current trustees are Robert Moody, Chairman of National Western Life and ANICO, and his brother, the embattled Shearn Moody Jr.
A court ruling …