A Uniondale man was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in prison in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Monday for ripping off nearly $500,000 in prize money from jazz legend Cecil Taylor, the Brooklyn district attorney’s office said.
Noel Muir, 55, a contractor, had allegedly befriended Taylor, 85, while working on a neighboring brownstone in Fort Greene, and then took advantage by having a 2013 half-million dollar Kyoto Prize from Japan’s Inamori Foundation deposited into his bank account.
Muir had accompanied Taylor to Japan to receive and arrange for payment of the award, but then depleted the funds. He pleaded guilty last month to a charge of second-degree grand larceny. He has repaid $200,000 and agreed to repay an additional $292,722, prosecutors said.
“This defendant shamefully bilked an elderly, vulnerable man out of a half of a million dollars,” said District Attorney Ken Thompson. Muir “pretended to be Cecil Taylor’s friend, but this guilty plea and sentence show that he was just a thief.”