LIVINGSTON — A 43-year-old man has been convicted of extorting money and property from a 75-year-old woman who thought they were in a romantic relationship, the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.
Gary Gorman, of Greenwell Springs, will be sentenced Dec. 19 after being found guilty Oct. 1 of exploitation of the infirmed, the District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
Gorman convinced his 75-year-old victim that they were in a romantic relationship and would eventually marry, the District Attorney’s Office said.
The extortion occurred between August 2009 and May 2011.
The victim, who was diagnosed with early onset dementia and depression in 2009, gave Gorman $80,000 from a reverse mortgage she took out on her home in Watson.
Gorman also received two plots of land in Livingston Parish from the victim and spent the maximum limit on her credit cards.
She gave Gorman power of attorney and $132,000 from an annuity left by her deceased husband, the District Attorney’s Office said.
The victim’s family had asked her to move to northern Louisiana with them, but she refused, saying Gorman would take care of her.
The victim’s doctor, Durwin Walker, testified during the trial that the victim was in no condition to make serious financial or legal decisions at the time.
Jurors returned their verdict after only 30 minutes of deliberation, the District Attorney’s Office said.
Sheriff’s deputies began investigating Gorman’s relationship with the victim in May 2011 after a home health care worker found the victim at her home partially naked with blood over her left eye, according to a Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office report. Authorities later discovered the victim had fallen at her home.
As deputies began their investigation, they found that the state’s Elderly Protective Services Office also had opened an investigation on the money the victim gave Gorman.
A report from Elderly Protective Services details family members’ concerns about Gorman taking advantage of the victim, especially over the reverse mortgage.
The victim told an Elderly Protective Services worker in February 2011 that she had mortgaged the house for $80,000 but had only given Gorman $6,000 of that money as down payments on two dump trucks and one refrigerated truck.
During that interview, the victim said she was in a wreck in 2009 and had difficulty walking. She told the worker that Gorman had been her boyfriend for about two years and helped her around the home but wasn’t there every day.
She said Gorman also helped pay her bills.
The worker noted in the report that the victim’s house was in deplorable condition.
Gorman also told one of the victim’s social workers that he was in love with the victim and wanted to marry her, the report says.
However, Gorman’s power of attorney over the victim was revoked in May 2011 after the victim told an Elderly Protective Services worker that she had not given him the power.
Neighbors of the victim told Elderly Protective Services workers that Gorman started visiting the victim in 2008 after he met her while taking pictures of Hurricane Gustav damage, the report says. Those visits increased after the victim’s accident in 2009.
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