A couple allegedly exploited a Malibu doctor struggling with mental health issues until his death in 2018.
The Los Angeles Times ran a detailed report about how Anthony Flores and Anna Moore fleeced 57-year-old ophthalmologist Mark Sawusch. The couple allegedly drugged Sawusch and stole his money after befriending him in 2017.
Sawusch was bipolar and landed in jail or psychiatric hospitals on several occasions. He met Flores and Moore after a stint in a psychiatric hospital in 2017. He eventually invited them to come live with him, rent-free.
The couple moved in with Sawusch, promising to bring stability to his life. Sawusch kicked them out of his house weeks later.
“I just realized Anna and Anton are f###### white collar tax fraud criminals who tried to steal my Tesla and home,” he texted a friend. “OMG. I am sooo gullible.”
The couple regained Sawusch’s trust after he was arrested for throwing rocks at vehicles. Flores convinced the doctor to give him power of attorney to withdraw enough money to post bail.
Flores and Moore moved back in with Sawusch, who was grateful to get out of jail. But the couple now had direct access to the doctor’s bank accounts.
The couple arranged for Sawusch to get weekly ketamine injections and had him use LSD, mushrooms and other drugs. Flores and Moore embezzled roughly $3 million from Sawusch until he died in 2018.
A coroner ruled it an accidental death caused by ketamine and alcohol intoxication. But a pathologist determined the ketamine and alcohol didn’t “significantly contribute” to the doctor’s immediate cause of death.
After Sawusch died, Flores and Moore allegedly tried to take more of his money. The couple’s exploits eventually caught the attention of authorities, leading to an indictment.
Earlier this year, Flores and Moore were arrested for their scam. They were charged with conspiracy, wire and mail fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft. The two pleaded not guilty to the charges.