A man prosecutors said befriended elderly victims who suffered from dementia so he could take control of their properties was found guilty Thursday of eight felonies, District Attorney’s Office spokesman Max Szabo said in a statement Friday.
Gregory Wiggins, 53, targeted and befriended two elderly San Francisco residents who were suffering from dementia and attempted to take advantage of them, Szabo said. He was found guilty of grand theft, embezzlement, elder abuse, making false statements to a notary public, filing false documents and identity theft.
Both victims were under court-ordered conservatorships and Wiggins, who had multiple addresses at the time of his arrest, was repeatedly told by the conservators that he could not enter into any legal contracts with them.
In November 2005, Wiggins convinced one of the victims to add him as a joint tenant on the deed to the victim’s property, giving Wiggins sole ownership after the victim’s death. That deed, however, was nullified after attorneys for the conservatorship became involved.
After that went south, Wiggins targeted an elderly woman who also suffered from dementia, Szabo said. After gaining her trust, she turned over a large portion of her financial responsibilities to Wiggins.
In May 2006, the San Francisco Public Guardian’s office initiated conservatorship to help the victim and in November of that year, the conservatorship became permanent. Wiggins then moved fast to secure the victim’s property in Hercules.
On Nov. 20, 2006, Wiggins had the victim sign the property over to him and then moved to obtain a second mortgage on the property, stripping the property of its value, prosecutors said.
Then in January of 2007, Wiggins recorded a grant deed officially removing the victim from this property and a deed of trust taking the value out of the home, in hopes that he could walk away with the money from the home and avoid litigation similar to his first scam, Szabo said.
District Attorney George Gascón applauded the victims for their resolve in the length of time it took to pursue the case and bring Wiggins to justice.
“This man targeted elderly victims whose health precluded them from seeing through his deception,” Gascón said. “Preying on elderly individuals in an attempt to deprive them of their livelihood is malicious and foul.”
The District Attorney’s Office said it will be pursuing a significant state prison term for Wiggins, as well as restitution for the second victim.Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsEmbezzlementfraudGregory Wiggins