Rich Malibu physician’s ultimate days outlined by struggle between household and suspect yogis over declining psychological well being

Dr. Mark Sawusch’s turbulent life took a fateful activate a summer time evening in 2017, when he was arrested for throwing rocks and building cones at vehicles on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, Calif.

It was the brilliant-but-troubled eye physician’s third encounter with police that July week, following arrests for skipping out on a big bar tab at superstar hotspot Moonshadows Malibu, and for getting right into a fist struggle on the Santa Monica pier. 

Sawusch had struggled for years with bipolar dysfunction, however that summer time he had spiraled dangerously uncontrolled. 

What adopted would show extra pivotal, ensuing within the seemingly irreparable fracturing of a long-strained relationship along with his mom, and main him to grant entry to his huge fortune to 2 yoga gurus, Anthony David Flores and Anna Moore, he had not too long ago befriended. 

Sawusch was charged with malicious mischief and positioned below court-ordered psychiatric analysis on $40,000 bail. The cash ought to have been no downside — he was price an estimated $60 million — however his household, who lived in Florida, refused to publish the bail. They hoped time in a mental-health facility would assist preserve him out of hazard, court docket paperwork present. 

Sawusch would spend the subsequent 45 days within the psychiatric ward of the rough-and-tumble Twin Towers jail in downtown Los Angeles, however he finally hatched a plan to get out of jail with out his household’s assist. He signed over energy of lawyer to Flores, granting the yoga guru entry to the physician’s accounts with the intention to pay the bail. The transfer deeply angered Sawusch’s household, court docket filings present.

Federal prosecutors now say Flores and Moore had been actually grifters, who sought to use the physician’s shaky psychological state to steal tens of millions from him earlier than his demise at age 57 after consuming a deadly mixture of ketamine and alcohol. The wealthy physician died lower than a yr after first assembly the yoga gurus.

The yoga guru couple has argued in court docket filings that Sawusch’s psychological situation was far much less extreme than his household has described and that they had been merely attempting to assist defend him and his cash from his mom, who wished to have him dedicated and take management of his fortune. 

“He was just someone who needed help.”

— Stephen Moore, father of Anna Moore

Sawusch had met Flores and Moore at a Malibu ice cream parlor only a week earlier than his arrest within the rock-throwing incident, in response to court docket papers. Seeking some sort of emotional solace, Sawusch was taken by the couple’s non secular vibe and agreed to affix them on  a highway journey to northern California in his Tesla. By the tip of the week, the pair had moved into Sawusch’s lavish Malibu beachfront residence, making ready him uncooked vegan meals and tending to his wants. 

“He was just someone who needed help,” stated Moore’s father, Stephen Moore, a retired mission supervisor on the UC Berkeley graduate college of training. “My understanding was that he wanted to live a life of fun and friendships, eat good food and get healthy  — just a normal life — and they thought they could help him.”

“That’s really just Anna being Anna,” Moore stated of his daughter, who additionally labored as an actress and a singer. “She is very focused on helping people.”

Prosecutors say Moore and Flores — who extra broadly glided by Anton David — additionally helped administer doses to the physician of LSD, marijuana and ketamine, an animal tranquilizer usually used as a leisure drug that has additionally been experimented with as a therapy for extreme melancholy.

In felony expenses of fraud, identification theft and cash laundering filed in federal court docket in Los Angeles in late January, prosecutors allege that Flores and Moore used the medication to maintain Sawusch discombobulated whereas they raided his accounts. They additionally saved a employees of masseuses on name always, to maintain the physician relaxed, prosecutors stated.

Flores’ lawyer, Ambrosio Rodriguez, stated that characterization of occasions was unfaithful, noting that the drug routine was being administered below the supervision of Sawusch’s medical doctors.

“The contention that my client was some kind of Rasputin-like figure taking advantage of a brilliant but ill doctor is just false,” Rodriguez stated. “There is a level of complexity to this case that you will not read in the charging documents, and that firmly revolves around issues the doctor had in his relationship with his mother.”

All within the household

Much of the federal government’s case is constructed round particulars that emerged in a long-running civil case introduced by Sawusch’s mom, Patsy, and sister, Carole, in opposition to Flores and Moore quickly after the physician died at his Malibu residence in May 2018.

The civil go well with alleged that just about $3 million had been transferred out of Sawusch’s accounts within the ultimate yr of his life into others managed by Flores. The felony case alleged that just about $1 million of it had been transferred after Sawusch had died.   

In court docket papers filed by Flores and Moore within the civil case, they claimed the switch had been achieved on the physician’s behest, merely as a method to protect some management over his cash in case his mom was profitable in establishing a conservatorship over him.

“[Sawusch] made it very clear to [Flores and Moore] that he wanted nothing to do with his mother, Patsy Ann Sawusch, and he regularly described her as a ‘narcissist who was out to take control of his assets and money,’” the couple acknowledged in a civil case submitting in 2019 in Los Angeles’ California state court docket. 

“[Mark Sawusch] was not a horrible crazy person who needed to have his life taken away.”

— Court filings by Anthony Flores and Anna Moore

They acknowledged that within the ultimate years of his life, Sawusch’s household “was not present, did not participate in his life, and [the doctor] wanted nothing to do with them.” 

“[Mark Sawusch] was not a horrible crazy person who needed to have his life taken away. He was a successful man who was suffering, and had no one in his life whom he could trust. Based on this, [Sawusch] trusted [Flores and Moore] to act in his best interests, including transferring large sums of money and property so that if a conservatorship were created, someone else could control his estate,” the couple argued.

The filings claimed that Sawusch’s psychological well being was much better than his household contended, with him solely slipping into unstable durations of manic habits when he abused alcohol. They stated Sawusch had made the choice to hunt ketamine infusion therapies on his personal, in session along with his medical doctors. And he had plunked down $55,000 of his personal accord to enter an alcohol therapy facility in Malibu earlier in 2017. 

“This lawsuit exists because [Patsy Sawusch] cannot blame herself for the fact that her son hated her,” the couple argued. “This proceeding is not about a breach of trust, or fraud, and it certainly isn’t about hidden assets. It is about a mother who will do everything possible to avoid having to deal with her own role in her son’s death.” 

Attorneys for Patsy and Carole Sawusch didn’t reply to a number of messages in search of remark.

The civil case was in the end settled, with Flores and Moore agreeing to return the cash they’d acquired from Sawusch, however prosecutors allege that $1 million stays lacking. In 2021, Flores declared chapter, saying he’s penniless. 

Death and arrests

The son of a profitable ophthalmologist, Sawusch adopted in his father’s footsteps, learning medication on the University of Chicago and doing his residency at Johns Hopkins. He finally moved to Los Angeles the place he constructed a profitable apply within the Pacific Palisades and developed a patent for a process to appropriate corneal impairments. 

He was additionally a talented investor, turning his success into an unlimited fortune price tens of tens of millions of {dollars}, prosecutors have stated.

But by 2015, his life was turning into unwound. That yr, he obtained divorced after solely a yr of marriage, data present. Then in 2016, he suffered a severe accident that left his arms badly burned and made it inconceivable for him to proceed working towards medication.

Court papers confirmed he quickly started to lose management of himself, fighting psychological well being points that landed him in psychiatric services not less than eight occasions between 2016 and 2017, in addition to a number of run-ins with the regulation for petty crimes.  

Isolated and in search of some route in his life, Sawusch walked right into a Malibu ice cream parlor in July 2017, the place he and Flores and Moore would meet. 

Within a yr, Sawusch could be lifeless and Flores and Moore embroiled in years of authorized entanglements. The pair broke up round mid-2021, and Moore moved to Mexico.

Moore was arrested in early February as she stepped off a airplane in Houston. She has pleaded not responsible and stays in Texas there pending her return to Los Angeles to face the federal expenses, her father stated,

Flores was arrested on Jan. 31 in Fresno and has pleaded not responsible. He additionally stays in detention pending his switch to Los Angeles, his lawyer stated.

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