Man Convicted of Defrauding Elderly Victims of Property

A man accused of tricking elderly victims into signing over their properties to him has been convicted of elder abuse and other charges in San Francisco Superior Court, prosecutors said Friday.

Gregory Wiggins, 53, was found guilty of grand theft, embezzlement, elder abuse, making false statements to a notary public, filing false documents and identity theft on Thursday, according to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.

The crimes occurred after Wiggins befriended two elderly people suffering from mental incapacities such as dementia who were under court-ordered conservatorship. He was repeatedly warned by lawyers and conservators that he could not enter into any legal contracts with the victims, prosecutors said.

In November of 2005, Wiggins persuaded one victim to sign a grand deed that added him as a joint tenant to the victim’s property and would have made him the sole owner of the property upon the victim’s death.

However, civil attorneys connected with the conservatorship litigated the matter to nullify the grant deed.

In a second incident in November 2006, Wiggins had persuaded the victim to turn over a large amount of her financial responsibilities to him.

The San Francisco Public Guardian’s Office initiated a conservatorship process out of concern that Wiggins was exercising undue influence.

However, Wiggins persuaded the victim to sign a quitclaim deed relinquishing her rights on a property in Hercules and obtained a second mortgage on the property.

Then in January 2007 he had the victim removed from the property and obtained a deed of trust that would allow him to walk away from the home with the money if conservators litigated the property as they had in the first case.

Prosecutors are seeking are seeking a state prison term and restitution for the second victim to restore the losses from the property.

“This man targeted elderly victims whose health precluded them from seeing through his deception,” said District Attorney George Gascon. “Preying on elderly individuals in an attempt to deprive them of their livelihood is malicious and foul.”

Bay City News

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