A yoga instructor and a hairdresser isolated a lonely, bipolar Malibu doctor from his family and pumped him full of ketamine for the better part of a year so they could siphon millions of dollars before he ultimately died alone, a shocking report alleges.
Friends and employees of the late Mark Sawusch told the Los Angeles Times that Anna Moore, 39, and Anthony Flores, 46, manipulated the suicidal doctor into giving up control of his finances under the guise of intense friendship.
The devious couple — who were indicted in February on charges of felonies, including conspiracy, identity theft, mail fraud and money laundering — allegedly embezzled nearly $3 million from Sawusch and tried to steal another $20 million after his 2018 death.
They are accused of sending Sawusch to weekly ketamine injections and feeding him LSD, psilocybin mushrooms and marijuana while spending his money on clothing, lavish parties and weekend trips.
“It seemed like to me they just kept him drugged,” massage therapist Dora Peterson told the outlet.
“He was out of it. He couldn’t carry on a conversation.”
Moore and Flores stumbled upon their alleged victim at an ice cream parlor off Venice Beach in June 2017, just two weeks after he was released from a mental rehabilitation center for attempted suicide.
After chatting with the couple, Sawusch invited them to his beachfront home to share the sunset before handing them the keys to his Tesla, which they used for their weekend trip to Yosemite National Park.
The friendship escalated quickly. Sawusch invited the couple to move in with him rent-free, calling them his “personal 911” and “best friends.”
Sawusch — who had been hospitalized and jailed multiple times for violent outbursts during manic episodes — lived across the country from his family, was single and had no children. He lost the ability to conduct surgery after injuring his hands in a suicide attempt and could no longer care for himself.
On July 4, less than a month after meeting Moore and Flores, Sawusch was arrested on a battery charge for assaulting someone on the Santa Monica Pier. He was jailed for a night, then underwent six days of psychiatric care before the couple brought him home, the LA Times reported.
After three weeks, Sawusch aggressively booted the pair from his home and called police to escort them out.
“OMG,” Sawusch texted a friend. “I just realized Anna and Anton are f–cking white collar tax fraud criminals who tried to steal my Tesla and home. OMG. I am sooo gullible.”
After several more arrests and a seven-week stink in a downtown LA jail, Sawusch gave into Flores’ suggestion and granted him a power of attorney so he could withdraw enough money from his accounts to post bail.
Grateful for his freedom and desperate for the exciting life Moore and Flores promised, Sawusch asked the couple to move back in with him.
With Sawusch’s bank accounts at their disposal, Moore and Flores reportedly hired 20 housekeepers, handymen and other staff, including six massage therapists, and transferred millions of dollars into their own bank accounts.
They scheduled weekly ketamine injections as treatment for his depression — a move the technicians tried to push back against — and stuck him in 12 hours of massage treatments per day.
“It was wild,” Peterson said. “Who gets six massages a day, seven days a week? … He would just be kind of like a vegetable.”
Sawusch’s health visibly started to decline after the couple gave him LSD two weeks before his death, Peterson said.
In the following days, Sawusch freaked out during his 43rd ketamine treatment, prosecutors said. He was talking, laughing and pressing forcefully into his eyes and ears.
Moore and Flores, sensing they would be booted from the home for the second time, escaped on a Memorial Day weekend retreat to Santa Monica.
They told staff not to talk to Sawusch, who was ingesting drugs and violently throwing himself around the home, the LA Times stated.
The couple kept a close eye on the manic doctor through the dozens of surveillance cameras stationed throughout the house, but only called police when the massage therapists found him dead, the report states.
After Sawusch died in May 2018, they moved back into his home and began taking out large amounts of money from his account, prosecutors said.
Moore and Flores, who are no longer together, have maintained they had only acted in Sawusch’s best interest and were trying to help him overcome his deteriorating mental health.
With Post wires