LOS ANGELES – A Fresno hairstylist pleaded guilty today to nine felonies for defrauding a vulnerable physician out of more than $2.7 million before his death and then attempting to defraud his estate out of an additional amount exceeding $20 million.
Anthony David Flores, 47, a.k.a. “Anton David,” pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud, two counts of mail fraud, one count of conspiracy to engage in money laundering, two counts of money laundering, and one count of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity.
His co-defendant and former girlfriend, Anna Rene Moore, 40, an actress and former yoga studio owner who resided in Monterrey, Mexico at the time of her January 31 arrest at a Houston airport, pleaded guilty on August 28 to seven felonies in this case: one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, two counts of mail fraud, one count of conspiracy to engage in money laundering, two counts of money laundering, and one count of engaging in monetary transaction in property derived from specified unlawful activity.
Flores and Moore have been in federal custody since January of this year.
According to Flores’ plea agreement, beginning in June 2017, Flores used false promises and representations to befriend the victim — a physician and successful investor worth more than $60 million, but who suffered from a mental illness and lost the ability to care for himself after multiple hospitalizations. Within days of meeting the victim, Flores and Moore moved into the victim’s 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 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 the victim’s finances.
Flores represented that he would only use these powers to access the victim’s finances to post bail for release, and that the victim could immediately rescind them once the victim was free from jail. But after the victim was released from custody, the powers of attorney were never rescinded. Within days, Flores used these powers to open bank accounts in the victim’s name with Flores listed as the power of attorney, giving himself and Moore access to the victim’s wealth.
From September 2017 to May 2018, Flores and Moore lived with the victim, 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 victim’s life in May 2018, Flores and Moore gave the victim LSD, which caused his mental state to severely deteriorate. While the victim was under the influence of LSD, Flores caused the two-step authentication feature on the victim’s $60-million online brokerage account to be changed after previously having changed the phone number listed on the account from the victim’s phone number to his own phone number.
Then, while the victim was still under the influence of LSD that Flores had provided to him and without the victim’s knowledge or consent, Flores initiated two $1-million wires from the victim’s brokerage account to the power-of-attorney accounts that Flores controlled, then to Flores’ personal bank account. Flores and Moore then left the victim, who by this time was in mental distress. From a luxury hotel paid with the victim’s funds, Flores and Moore remotely watched the victim’s deteriorating mental condition on the video cameras installed throughout the Malibu beach house and directed staff they had hired to work at the house to watch the victim.
In May 2018, the victim died in his Malibu home at the age of 57 years old. Following the victim’s death, Flores and Moore moved back into the victim’s Malibu beachfront home and withdrew large sums of money from his accounts. They also concealed information about the victim’s finances from his mother and sister, both of whom resided in Florida. This prompted the victim’s family to file a lawsuit, which resulted in the fraud being uncovered.
In the ensuing lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, Flores and Moore violated multiple court orders ordering them to return the funds stolen from the victim. They attempted to launder the fraudulent proceeds by funneling the money through multiple different accounts to thwart the victim’s estate and court-appointed receiver from recouping the money.
Six months after the victim’s death, Flores and Moore then came forward and falsely claimed that the victim had “promised” them one-third of his estate – amounting to $20 million – and his Malibu beach house, and that the victim was on the verge of his changing his will to name both Flores and Moore in his will before the victim’s untimely death. Flores and Moore filed false creditor’s claims against the victim’s estate, fraudulently claiming they were entitled to $20 million and the beach house, and falsely listing incidents when the victim supposedly promised Flores and Moore $20 million and his beach house, despite knowing that these claims were untrue.
After extensive litigation with the victim’s estate, the lawsuit was settled with Flores and Moore withdrawing their false creditor’s claims and agreeing to repay the victim’s estate $1 million, which they have so far failed to do.
United States District Judge Percy Anderson scheduled a February 26, 2024 sentencing hearing, at which time Flores will face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for each fraud count, up to 20 years on the conspiracy to commit money laundering and laundering of monetary instruments counts, and up to 10 years on transactional money laundering count.
Moore’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 22, 2024.
The FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation investigated this matter.
Assistant United States Attorney Andrew M. Roach of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section is prosecuting this case. Assistant United States Attorney James E. Dochterman of the Asset Forfeiture and Recovery Section is handling asset forfeiture matters in this case.