Gospel singer who swindled Trumbull man out of $200,000 sentenced to prison
By all accounts it was an unholy alliance.
Gospel singer Doraine Reed conspired with Stratford pastor Robert Genevicz to separate an elderly Trumbull man from his children and then fleeced him of more than $200,000, a jury found.
On Friday, Reed, comparing herself to the biblical Job, was sentenced to nine years in prison.
“This case shocks the conscience, it shows the role greed plays,” Superior Court Judge Earl Richards lamented. “Miss Reed and Reverend Genevicz took advantage of a man in the twilight of his life.”
Reed’s daughter, Spontaneous Reed, broke into tears as she begged the judge for mercy for her mother. She then left the Fairfield County Courthouse without comment.
Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Howard Stein urged the judge to send a message with his sentence of Reed that people who prey on the elderly will be punished severely.
“Doraine Reed entered into the life of Arthur Devack as a health care aide. She knew him for a total of 121 days and within the first six weeks of coming into his life she, along with Reverend Genevicz, used undue influence to convince him to make her his sole beneficiary,” the prosecutor said.
In October a jury of four women and two men deliberated about four and a half hours before finding the 60-year-old Reed guilty of first-degree larceny, attempted first-degree larceny, second-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny.
Reed’s lawyer, Public Defender Joseph Bruckmann, told the judge his client has a good heart but often misinterprets things.
Reed subsequently misinterpreted Bruckmann’s remarks.
In a long, and often rambling diatribe, Reed talked about her misspent youth and turning her life around to preach and sing about god. She ended on a sour note complaining about conspiracies, blaming Genevicz, calling her conviction a hate crime and ending with the proclamation, “All lives matter.”
“She does not appear to be at all remorseful,” the judge noted.
He sentenced her to 20 years, suspended after she serves nine years in prison and followed by five years of probation. “I’m also ordering restitution if she comes into some kind of windfall,” the judge added.
Devack, 88, died in June 2010 but not before Reed, with the help of Genevicz, convinced him to turn over all his money and property to her and to buy her a Hummer sports utility vehicle, according to testimony during the trial.
Devack’s daughter, Cathy, had hired Reed as a caregiver for her father in 2010 through an agency but Reed managed to convince the victim to hire her away from the agency to be his full-time caregiver, witnesses testified. Reed then brought in Genevicz who took Devack to local attorney Myrna Gans who made the minister Devack’s power of attorney and drafted two wills making Reed Devack’s sole heir and leaving his family with nothing.
Reed and Genevicz then took out a reverse mortgage on the Devack family home, taking out $225,000 in equity on the home, according to testimony, which Reed used for her own benefit.
After Devack’s death the Sikorsky Credit Union notified police that Genevicz was cashing checks from Devack’s account there.
Cathy Devack testified that after her father died Reed, at her request, turned over Devack’s wallet to her.
“The wallet was filled with credit cards,” Cathy Devak said. “My father never had any credit cards.”
Trumbull Probate Judge John Chiota later invalidated the two wills ruling that Reed had exerted undue influence on Devack.
Genevicz, 67, who was also charged with stealing nearly $400,000 from a 71-year-old retired Stratford school teacher, later pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree larceny and one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny. He faces up to 60 years in prison when he is sentenced next month.