Fact is stranger than fiction.
This has to be the strangest case of alleged real estate fraud I have ever heard of.
A Fresno-area woman named Genevieve Sanders, is accused by an Orange County couple of faking her death with the assistance of her physician-husband in order to inflate the value of the ranch they purchased from the two.
While working as a waitress, Genevieve Sanders figured out she could make more tips by pretending she was born in France. According to her first husband – a mental health expert – Sanders reinvented herself as Genevieve Marie de Montremare, a woman born of French royalty and even went to court to get her name changed legally. Husband #1, Gary Hoffman, eventually tired of his wife’s deception and divorced her.
Sanders, who was born in Burbank, California in 1962, then married Dr. Michael Weilert, 60. Weilert is director of pathology and clinical laboratories for Community Regional Medical Centers and is also a founding partner of Pathology Associates, located in nearby Clovis. She established the International Friesian Show Horse Association (IFSHA) and hosted popular competitions that drew equestrians and judges from international circles.
Enter Brian Gwartz and his wife, Cheryl Skigin, the Orange County couple. According to their lawsuit, filed in Fresno County Superior Court, Sanders / de Montremare faked her own death with the assistance of her physician-husband (he admits signing the death certificate) in order to make her horse ranch more valuable. Gwartz, Skigin and their attorney claim that Sanders has thus far eluded being deposed. Their lawsuit seeks the return of the purchase price of the property, interest, damages and attorney’s fees.
What a fascinating story of alleged real estate fraud and title fraud, if the charges of the Weilerts’ filing a false deed are proven to be true.
Read the original article – extensive and very well-written - in the Fresno Bee.