St. Louis County man sentenced to 7 years, ordered to repay $1 million for elder and disability fraud

Fraud News Graphic
Share To Your Social Network

U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Clark sentenced a St. Louis County, Missouri man to seven years in prison for financially exploiting two elderly women and committing disability fraud. Gino Rives, 36, of Edmundson, was ordered to repay over $1.1 million and agreed to return a house and six vehicles obtained from his victims. Additionally, Judge Clark fined Rives $100,000.

Rives pleaded guilty to five counts of theft of government funds in January related to disability fraud. In October, he also pleaded guilty to one count of access device fraud and one count of fraudulently affecting transactions in the elder fraud case.

Rives admitted to fraudulently receiving payments from the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Supplemental Security Income Program since 2010, falsely claiming a mental health disorder. He pretended to be incapable of answering basic questions, claimed memory problems, and had difficulty with concentration, following instructions, and completing tasks. He also falsely asserted that he had never been employed, could not drive, was unable to handle financial affairs, and had no assets.

In reality, Rives concealed his employment in the construction and tree trimming industries, participation in competitive mixed martial arts, and ownership of houses and vehicles. He admitted receiving more than $721,692 since 2021 and must repay the SSA $120,260.

Rives also admitted to financially exploiting two elderly women. He obtained four vehicles and checks totaling over $855,000 from one woman for incomplete construction work. He used her debit card for personal purchases for himself and his family. He also transferred a house belonging to another elderly woman into his name, moved her to a nursing home, and allowed his mother to move into the house.

During the sentencing hearing, a nursing home administrator testified that the victim was left at the facility with minimal clothing and no personal mementos. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Berry’s sentencing memo highlighted Rives’ previous conviction in 2009 for financial exploitation of the elderly and similar accusations in 2014.

Judge Clark ordered Rives to pay $1,042,848 in restitution for the elder fraud case.

Zella Rives, 57, admitted to assisting her son with the disability fraud. Austin James, a Jefferson County contractor, also pleaded guilty to aiding Rives in defrauding one of the victims. Their sentencing is pending.

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

Share To Your Social Network