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St. Louis County Man Admits Financially Exploiting Two Elderly Victims

October 30, 2023

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis County, Missouri man on Monday admitted stealing a home from one elderly woman and fraudulently accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from another.

Gino Rives, 36, of Edmundson, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in St. Louis to one count of access device fraud and one count of fraudulently effecting transactions. Rives admitted exploiting two elderly victims, M.P. and A.B., from Jan. 1, 2017 through Oct. 17, 2023.

Rives admitted during his guilty plea that he approached M.P., an 87-year-old widow, sometime in 2017, and offered to clean her gutters. He then began to perform various repairs for her and shop for her. M.P. gave Rives her husband’s car in gratitude for his help but denied otherwise compensating him. In July of 2017, a quit claim deed was executed, transferring M.P.’s home to Rives for $1. He moved her into his mother’s home. Rives put M.P. in a nursing home in January of 2023, then began renting her home to his mother. He falsely claimed to nursing home staff that he had power of attorney for M.P. to manage her financial affairs, Rives’ plea says. 

Rives’ other victim, 80-year-old A.B., hired Rives sometime before Jan. 17, 2021 to repair her roof for $7,500. After Rives falsely claimed to be a licensed contractor, A.B. hired him to renovate the interior of her house. The one-bedroom, one-bath, 1,100 square-foot home was worth no more than $135,000 in 2021. From March 2018 through 2022, however, Rives received checks totaling $387,600 that were purportedly for home repair. He received another $112,300 through 2023 via checks that were designated for purposes other than home repair or did not list a purpose. Another roughly $151,500 went to four people who were also purportedly doing home repairs. One of those people told investigators that he’d performed some kitchen repairs and then cashed eight of A.B.’s checks, giving the proceeds to Rives who then gave a portion back to the worker.

A St. Louis building inspector estimated the value of repairs at no more than $50,000. There was no indication that promised structural work had been done.

Rives also obtained four vehicles that had been purchased by his elderly victim: a 2020 Dodge Challenger, a 2016 Ford Mustang, a 2017 GMC Sierra and a 2016 Mercedes 350, the plea says.

Rives obtained and used the victim’s debit card to make purchases for himself and relatives, including $2,147.85 in airline tickets for a trip to Phoenix between April 2, 2023 and April 4, 2023. A.B. died in April.

In the plea agreement, Rives has agreed to the forfeiture of the four vehicles that once belonged to A.B., as well as M.P.’s house, a 1978 Ford Fairmont and a 2006 Corvette.

Each charge is punishable up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. Rives will also be ordered to repay the money.

The Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Secret Service investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Berry is prosecuting the case.

Anyone with concerns about suspected abuse or neglect of the elderly or disabled should contact Missouri’s Adult Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 800-392-0210.

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