LOS ANGELES — An actress and a hairdresser feigned friendship with a wealthy doctor, moved into his beachfront home in Malibu, Calif., and plied him with drugs including marijuana and LSD while defrauding him of at least $3 million, according to a federal indictment unsealed this week.
The two face a range of criminal charges accusing them of duping the ailing physician and bilking him of more than $2.7 million before his death, the Justice Department said Thursday.
They took even more of the man’s money after he had died, the federal authorities said.
The pair — Anthony D. Flores, 46, and Anna R. Moore, 39 — met the ophthalmologist in 2017, according the indictment, which was filed in December in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The man, a successful investor who was worth more than $60 million but suffered from a mental illness that left him unable to care for himself, is not named in court documents.
Mr. Flores, who also goes by the name Anton David, and Ms. Moore soon moved into the man’s beachfront home, where they slowly took control of his life and his finances, according to the court documents. Mr. Flores also ran a window-cleaning business, the court filings said, and Ms. Moore was a yoga studio owner who, according IMDb, once played a “blonde student” in “The Life Before Her Eyes,” a film starring Uma Thurman.
According to the documents, the doctor, then 56, had gradually lost the ability to care for himself and was involuntarily hospitalized several times between 2015 and 2017. He had only two immediate family members, his mother and a sister, both of whom lived in Florida, documents say.
Mr. Flores and Ms. Moore were charged with 12 counts, including mail and wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering, the Justice Department said.
Mr. Flores was arrested last week in Fresno, Calif., and pleaded not guilty to the charges, federal officials said. Ms. Moore, who had been living in Monterrey, Mexico, was arrested on Tuesday at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston after arriving on a flight from Mexico and was awaiting arraignment. Both defendants are scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles in the coming weeks.
Neither Mr. Flores nor Ms. Moore could immediately be reached for comment on Thursday. A woman who answered Mr. Flores’s phone, but declined to give her name or disclose her relationship to him, said that he was in jail.
Ambrosio Rodriguez, a lawyer, said that Mr. Flores was in the process of retaining him but that he could not comment on the case. It was not immediately clear whether Ms. Moore had a lawyer in California.
Terrece Lynn, who represents Ms. Moore at the Wayne Agency, said by phone on Thursday that she had been shocked to learn about the case. Ms. Lynn said that she had last heard from Ms. Moore on Tuesday, when she had told her by email that she was unable to work because of a “family emergency.”
“Nothing she’s ever done or indicated would set off any bells or whistles at all,” Ms. Lynn said.
The court filings paint a picture of brazen behavior by the pair over the period of several months in which they are said to have conned the vulnerable physician, plying him with marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms and LSD, as well as scheduling weekly infusions of ketamine, an anesthetic that is used to relieve depression, and hours of massages to subdue and distract him.
The ploy began on June 23, 2017, after they met the man at an ice cream shop in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Venice, according to prosecutors. Shortly thereafter, the three of them went on a road trip through Northern California in the victim’s Tesla, they said.
A week later, Mr. Flores texted the man: “Our desire is to add ease and flow to your life and be of great service. Sincerely, your new friends: Anton&Anna.” Prosecutors said the two had moved into his house, rent free, that same day.
In the months that followed, Mr. Flores and Ms. Moore drained the man of some of his riches, according to prosecutors, eventually transferring more than $3 million to themselves, and attempting to take over $20 million more.
The pair used the money to fund their lifestyle, buying luxury items and hiring a staff of more than a dozen to work on their business ventures, according to court documents. They also isolated the doctor from his family. At one point, Mr. Flores convinced the doctor’s family that he was missing and that they needed $4,687.72 for their expenses and the time spent looking for him, prosecutors said.
In September 2017, the physician suffered “a severe mental breakdown,” the Justice Department said, and was arrested and detained in a Los Angeles County jail, after which Mr. Flores to persuaded the doctor to give him and Ms. Moore power of attorney, allowing them to take control of his finances.
Mr. Flores then opened several bank accounts, prosecutors said, and in a text message to a friend, she described his intentions toward the doctor. “I am his Power of Attorney and Executive Life Assistant,” Mr. Flores wrote. “My goal is to integrate him into love and light. He is a potential investor for all of my contacts.”
On May 23, 2018, Mr. Flores gave LSD to the man, changed the two-step authentication feature on his brokerage account and withdrew $2 million, prosecutors said. The next day, they took him for a ketamine infusion, according to court documents.
On May 25, the man ordered them to leave his home, the documents say. From a luxury hotel, Mr. Flores and Ms. Moore watched him rapidly deteriorate on video cameras installed throughout the beach house, prosecutors said.
Two days later, the man was dead.
According to prosecutors, Mr. Moore and Ms. Flores moved back into the beach house, continued withdrawing money from the doctor’s account and asked his estate to “honor” the man’s wishes by giving them the home and a third of his estate.
The victim’s family filed a lawsuit that uncovered the scheme, the Justice Department said.
If convicted, Mr. Flores and Ms. Moore each face a maximum of 20 years in prison per fraud count; 20 years for the counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering and laundering of monetary instruments; 10 years for transactional money laundering; and a mandatory two-year prison sentence for aggravated identity theft.
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