Frederick couple accused of stealing $65,000 trust fund from former adoptive daughter

Police: Couple blew money on casinos, ATVs, cars

FREDERICK, Colo. - A Frederick couple is accused of forging documents to steal a $65,000 trust fund from their former adopted daughter whom they gave up to a social services agency 10 years ago ago.

According to an arrest affidavit, Gary Thomas Moore, 50, and Anna Lee Moore, 51, used the money on a spending spree that included casinos and hotels in Las Vegas and Blackhawk, buying all-terrain vehicles, a recreational vehicle, a Mini Cooper, furniture and airline tickets.

The couple was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of felony theft of more than $20,000, court records said. The man and woman were released from Boulder County Jail after each posted a $10,000 bond.

"This young lady put her trust in them, and they betrayed that trust," said Longmont Police Commander Jeff Satur said. 7NEWS is not identifying the woman because she's an alleged crime victim.

Police say the couple adopted the now-20-year-old woman when she was a child in Tulare County, California.

But the Moores cut off all contact with the girl in 2003 when she was 10 years old, according to the arrest affidavit written by Longmont Police Det. Stephen Desmond.

Without telling the girl, the couple successfully petitioned a court to set aside the adoption in 2004, social workers told police.

The girl was devastated when she learned that she was no longer "a Moore" and was now an orphan from a Pueblo County social worker and court-appointed guardian, the affidavit said.

Despite all this, "Mrs. Moore assured (the girl) she would remain in her life," social workers told police.

"(The girl) continued to be distraught. She acted out her feelings of abandonment on a daily basis," the affidavit said.

The girl-turned-young adult has remained under the legal custody and care of the Pueblo County Department of Social Services since September 2003.

She lived for a while in El Pueblo, a behavioral healthcare community in Pueblo serving the needs of at-risk youth, according the facility's website. She's also lived in group homes.

Meanwhile, the Moores successfully sued the Tulare County Department of Human Services on behalf of the girl. They said she had suffered injuries as a result of negligence of the California agency because it failed to disclose information about the girl's early childhood before the adoption, the affidavit said.

In 2003, Anna Moore told a Pueblo County social worker that she and her husband "were not informed of (the girl's) background history," the affidavit said.

The couple won the lawsuit and $100,000 in damages. A California judge placed the money in a trust fund to provide for the girl's unspecified special needs "that will not be met without the trust," according to the affidavit, which authorities redacted.

One Tulare County judge "was so concerned about the money and about the Moores that they were not made trustees," the victim's legal guardian told police.

However, a second judge later appointed the Moores as trustees over the girl's money after "a falsified document was produced," the affidavit said.

According to the affidavit, the Moores falsified a petition on Jan. 7, 2012, to transfer the remaining $65,644 in trust funds to their Wells Fargo bank accounts by indicating they were the young woman's parents and guardians and she lived with them at their Frederick home.

The victim did not learn that she had a trust fund until 2011, police said.

Social services officials told police the Moores have had no connection with the victim or provided her with support for more than a decade.

Detective Desmond's learned that Anna Moore used a cashier's check to transfer the trust fund money to the couple's Elevations Credit Union account in Longmont. The back of the check bore the signature of Anna Moore and a forged signature of the victim, the affidavit said.

Credit union records obtained with a court order showed how the Moores spent their former daughter's trust fund, Desmond said.

In January 2011 alone, the couple spent $35,225, the affidavit said.

They spent thousands of dollars at Furniture Row and American Furniture Warehouse, on Verizon Wireless, utility bills, Macy's, a butcher shop and Home Depot.

Anna Moore paid more than $24,000 for ATVs and equipment.

Records showed the Moores spent money at Bullwhacker's Casino in Blackhawk. In May 2011, couple had three transactions on their debit card in Las Vegas for various entertainment and hotels and Mardi Gras Casino in Blackhawk, the affidavit said.

By October 2011, the couple was bouncing numerous checks for insufficient funds, the affidavit said.

During their spending spree, the Moores were receiving state unemployment payments, police learned. Desmond reported the couple to the Colorado Department of Labor and Unemployment.

In 2011, the then-19-year-old victim told a social worker she can't stop thinking about the day she learned the Moores had set aside her adoption and said they "did not desire any further contact with her."

Anna Moore was told the teen described her anguish over being abandoned as "a big hole in her heart," the affidavit said.

Prompted by a social worker, Anna Moore agreed to meet with her former daughter  to let the girl ask Moore some questions in an effort to help the teen find "closure." 

But Anna Moore never made the meeting in Pueblo and stopped returning a social workers phone messages, including requests to help officials "retrieve" the young woman's trust fund.

It’s unfortunate. It’s terribly unfortunate," Satur said. "The victim, she has been victimized again…She’s had a rough life. It’s not fair to her."

The Moores are due back in court on Feb. 21.

Additional Accusations

 

The Times-Call reports Longmont police are investigating similar allegations from a former adopted son of the couple. Michael Moore says the money that allegedly was taken from him and from his former adoptive sister was from a trust fund. The fund had been set up with the settlement of a lawsuit that accused a California county of failing to reveal all of the girl's personal history before the couple adopted her.