Anton Flores Sentenced for Defrauding Dr. Sawusch

Dr. Mark Sawusch (center) was befriended by two grifters, Antony Flores and Anna Moore.

Many people in Pacific Palisades were patients of ophthalmologist Dr. Mark Sawusch, now deceased.

On June 17, Anthony Davis Flores aka Anthony David, was sentenced to 188 months in federal prison for defrauding Sawusch out of more than $2.7 million and attempting to defraud the estate out of an additional amount exceeding $20, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.

Flores, 47, a hairdresser, pled guilty last year to nine felony charges in the case. The felonies included conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.

Flores’ partner Anna Rene Moore, 40, a yoga instructor/actress had pled guilty to seven of the 12 charges and will be sentenced on October 28. Flores and Moore have been in federal custody since 2023.

“Mr. Flores’ exploitation of a mentally ill person to steal his wealth is despicable, and he will now reap the consequences of his actions,” said Special Agent in Charge Tyler Hatcher, IRS Criminal Investigation, Los Angeles Field Office. “Protecting vulnerable people from scammers will always be one of CI’s top priorities, and we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate these horrible crimes.”

Sawusch, who grew up in Florida, studied medicine at the University of Chicago and his residency was at Johns Hopkins, before opening a practice in Pacific Palisades.

Dr. Mark Sawusch

He was well-liked by his patients. One day in 2016, he seemingly just disappeared from his practice in the medical building across from Gelson’s on Via de la Paz.

It was only when an April 2023 story came out in the Los Angeles Times (“The Actor, the hairstylist and the Eye Surgeon: Drugs and Death in a Malibu Beach House”), did people learn what had happed to their doctor.

Sawusch was also  a skilled investor and had accumulated a vast fortune worth ten of millions of dollars. He started having mental issues and was admitted to psychiatric facilities at least eight times between 2016 and 2017. A suicide attempt in 2017 led to his admission at the Del Amo psychiatric hospital in Torrance.

He met Flores and Moore at a Venice ice cream parlor shortly after being released from the hospital.

Within weeks of meeting Sawusch, the two befriended him and had moved into his Malibu home, rent-free. When the doctor suffered another breakdown, Flores convinced him to give Flores power or attorney.

For the next six months, Flores and Moore diverted the doctor’s funds to their own bank account.

Flores and Moore are said to have given Sawusch LSD. According to City News Services, “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.”

Sawusch, 57, died in May 2018 in his Malibu home.

It was only later that his family learned of his wealth. His mom and sister Carole thought he might have been bankrupt because of his mental issues. Three months after he died, the family received a letter from his investment brokerage revealing the doctor had more than $60 million.

In November 2018, the family got a court order freezing Flores and Moore’s assets and appointed a receiver to track down the money the couple had taken.

The family filed a lawsuit, and the Los Angeles Superior Court ordered the couple to return the stolen funds. 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 U.S. Department of Justice.

“Mr. Flores and his co-defendant lived large on the victim’s massive wealth while they relentlessly robbed and exploited his vulnerabilities until he succumbed to an early death,” said Krysti Hawkins, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “The defendant deprived the victim’s family access to their loved one and then dragged them through years of litigation. This case is a reminder that grifters who prey on vulnerable and unsuspecting victims cannot be tolerated by society or the law.”

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