LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A hairstylist and actress have been charged in a 12-count indictment alleging they defrauded a Malibu physician out of more than $2.7 million before his death and then attempted to defraud his estate out of an additional amount exceeding $20 million, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.
Anthony Flores, 46, also known as Anton David, of Fresno, has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and is scheduled for a detention hearing next week in the Eastern District of California.
His co-defendant, Anna Rene Moore, 39, an actress and former yoga studio owner who currently resides in Monterrey, Mexico, was arrested Tuesday and made her initial court appearance in the Southern District of Texas.
Both defendants are expected to appear in Los Angeles federal court in the coming weeks on charges of conspiracy, aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, and engaging in a monetary transaction in criminally derived property, according to the DOJ.
According to the indictment, beginning in June 2017, Flores and Moore conned the unidentified victim -- a physician and successful investor worth more than $60 million, but who suffered from mental illness and lost the ability to care for himself. Within days of meeting the victim, Flores and Moore moved into his beachfront Malibu home -- rent free -- and slowly took control of his life by pretending to be his new best friends and caregivers, the indictment alleges.
In September 2017, after the victim suffered a severe mental breakdown resulting in his arrest and detention in Los Angeles County jail, Flores fraudulently induced the victim to sign powers of attorney granting Flores control over his finances, prosecutors contend.
From September 2017 to May 2018, Flores and Moore allegedly diverted the victim's funds to their own bank accounts, isolated the victim from his family and longtime friends and provided the victim with drugs, including marijuana and LSD.
In the final days of the physician's life, Flores and Moore allegedly gave the victim LSD, which caused his mental state to severely deteriorate. While the victim was under the influence of LSD, Flores allegedly changed the two-step authentication feature on the man's $60 million online brokerage account after previously changing the phone number listed on the account from the doctor's phone number to his own.
Four days before the victim's death and while he was still under the influence of the LSD, Flores allegedly initiated two $1 million wires from the physician's brokerage account to accounts that Flores controlled, including Flores' personal bank account, according to the DOJ.
Flores and Moore then left the victim, who by this time was in mental distress and had evicted them from his home, prosecutors said. From a luxury hotel paid for with stolen funds, Flores and Moore watched the man's deteriorating mental condition on video cameras installed throughout the Malibu beach house, federal prosecutors allege.
In May 2018, the victim died in his Malibu home at the age of 57. Following his death, Flores and Moore moved back into the Malibu home and allegedly withdrew large sums of money from the dead man's accounts. They allegedly also concealed information about the victim's finances from his mother and sister, both of whom lived in Florida. This prompted the victim's family to file a lawsuit, which uncovered the alleged fraud.
In the ensuing lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, Flores and Moore allegedly violated multiple court orders ordering them to return the funds stolen from the victim. They allegedly attempted to launder the fraudulent proceeds by funneling the money through multiple accounts to thwart the victim's estate and court-appointed receiver from recouping the money.
The lawsuit was settled with Flores and Moore agreeing to repay the victim's estate $1 million, which they have so far failed to do, according to the DOJ.
If convicted on all counts, Flores and Moore would face sentences of up to 20 years in prison for each fraud count, up to 20 years on the conspiracy to commit money laundering and laundering of monetary instruments counts, 10 years on the transactional money laundering count, and a mandatory two-year prison sentence for the aggravated identity theft count, prosecutors noted.