Minister who swindled Trumbull man out of life savings gets two-year sentence
He was a popular Stratford minister; she, a controversial gospel singer — and together they fleeced two retired people out of their life savings.
On Friday, Robert “Pastor Bob” Genevicz was sentenced to two years in prison, starting a prison sentence like his partner in the unholy alliance, Doraine Reed, who is serving a nine-year term.
“These (the victims) were two elderly people who worked hard all their lives and were near death and there was an expectation that you would be an honest and upright person as a minister of a church but you abused your authority and you are going to jail,” Superior Court Judge Robert Devlin told Genevicz.
The judge sentenced him to 10 years, suspended after he serves two years in prison and followed by five years of probation.
Patricia Stosak had worked much of her life as a teacher in the Stratford school system. When she retired, she was a widow living off her pension and took solace in the powerful sermons of Genevicz at the Stratford Baptist Church.
In 2009, she agreed to let Genevicz take control of her finances and police said he robbed her blind, sharing Stosak’s life savings with Reed.
Buoyed by their success with Stosak, Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Howard Stein said, the couple moved on to 88-year-old Arthur Devak of Trumbull, a retired engineer who had compiled more than $200,000 that he initially intended to leave to his children.
Instead, within just 121 days of coming into Devak’s life, the prosecutor said, Genevicz and Reed managed to convince Devak to name Reed as his sole beneficiary and Genevicz his power of attorney.
They took out a $225,000 reverse mortgage on Devak’s home and bought expensive cars with his money.
“The lies are incredible that have come from Mr. Genevicz,” Stein told the judge. “I gave him the opportunity to come forward with the truth but instead there have been more lies,” the prosecutor said.
“I don’t know that it will make much difference what I say because apparently I am a profound liar,” Genevicz retorted, smiling.
The 72-year-old Genevicz, who pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree larceny and one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny, had blamed his illegal activities on the influence of Reed.
His lawyer, Frederick Paoletti, admitted he didn’t understand his client and Reed’s relationship.
“I think it was a parasitic-host relationship between them,” he said.
Paoletti contended that all the money from their dealings went to Reed but his client has agreed to make restitution for it all.
But Charles Kurmay, the lawyer for the Devak family, said the Devak estate is far from being made whole.
“We have had to chase Mr. Genevicz for years, it’s been an endless shell game,” Kurmay said.