ST. LOUIS – Gino Rives pleaded guilty in federal court on Monday to elder fraud for tricking a dying woman into paying for his vacation.
We caught a glimpse of Rives’ face when he walked out of his plea hearing before he hid behind relatives, pulled up his hoodie, and ran from our camera.
In one victim’s case, a Secret Service investigator’s affidavit stated that a U.S. Bank fraud investigator noticed unusual transactions from an 82-year-old. The investigator noted 83 checks from January 2021 until March 2023 for more than $1,100,00 payable to Gino Rives.
The money was for reported home repairs, even though the court record indicates the suspect is not a licensed contractor and the woman’s residence is worth only $135,000.
It was revealed that Rives defrauded his 82-year-old victim again when she was on her deathbed and hallucinating.
A Secret Service affidavit reads, “On March 31, 2023, during the time (the victim) was hospitalized and unable to communicate, three Southwest Airlines tickets were purchased with (the victim’s) debit card number for Rives and two other people (for a Phoenix vacation).”
“She actually had surgery for pancreatic cancer. She entered the hospital I believe it was at the end of March and she passed on April 4. So, during that time, he got her credit card,” federal prosecutor Tracy Berry said.
“If there are other individuals, we certainly hope they will see your story, and they will get in contact with the Secret Service or with Missouri Adult Protective Services.”
Rives will be sentenced at a later date, but the federal judge ordered him to return to court later this week, where he may get locked up as he awaits sentencing.
Rives had no comment outside the court.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services assisted in the investigation. DHSS has an adult abuse and neglect hotline, which can be reached by phone at 1-800-392-0210 or online at https://health.mo.gov/safety/abuse.