Yoga Instructor/Actress Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Malibu Physician

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A yoga instructor-actress pleaded guilty this week to defrauding a Malibu ophthalmologist out of more than $2.7 million before his death and then attempting to siphon an additional amount exceeding $20 million from his estate, according to court papers obtained Friday.

Anna Rene Moore, 39, who last lived in Monterrey, Mexico, is expected to be sentenced Nov. 6 on her plea to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, conspiracy to engage in money laundering and other federal charges, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Her co-defendant, Anthony Flores, 47, a Fresno hairstylist who goes by the name of Anton David, pleaded not guilty and has a trial date scheduled in March.

Prosecutors say the couple targeted Dr. Mark Sawusch -- a physician and successful investor who was worth more than $60 million, but who suffered from mental illness and had lost the ability to care for himself.

Moore pleaded guilty Tuesday in downtown Los Angeles to seven of the indictment's 12 charges. Her plea agreement is sealed and unavailable to the public, and her attorney could not immediately be reached for comment. It is not publicly known whether Moore will be required to testify against Flores if he elects to go to trial.

The DOJ alleges that within days of meeting Sawusch, 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.

In September 2017, after Sawusch suffered a severe mental breakdown resulting in his arrest and detention in Los Angeles County jail, Flores fraudulently induced him to sign powers of attorney granting Flores control over his finances, prosecutors contend.

From September 2017 to May 2018, Flores and Moore are alleged to have diverted the victim's funds to their own bank accounts, isolated Sawusch from his family and longtime friends and provided him with drugs, including marijuana and LSD.

In the final days of the physician's life, Flores and Moore gave him LSD, which caused his mental state to severely deteriorate, according to papers filed in Los Angeles federal court.

While Sawusch was under the influence of LSD, Flores changed the two- step authentication feature on the doctor's $60 million online brokerage account after previously changing the phone number listed on the account from Sawusch's phone number to his own, the indictment alleges.

Four days before Sawusch'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 ophthalmologist's deteriorating mental condition on video cameras installed throughout the Malibu beach house, federal prosecutors allege.

In May 2018, Sawusch 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 Sawusch's estate and court-appointed receiver from recouping the money.

The lawsuit was settled with Flores and Moore agreeing to repay the doctor's estate $1 million, which they have so far failed to do, according to the DOJ.

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