Arizona Couple Sentenced to Prison for Stealing $600,000 from Vulnerable Parents

PHOENIX- Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced today an Arizona couple was sentenced to more than two years in prison after stealing more than $600,000 from their parents who were suffering from dementia. Michael Gonzales, 49, was sentenced to two years in prison and his wife Kimberly, 50, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.  Both defendants will be placed on probation for four years after they are released from prison.

Joseph and Marjorie Gonzales saved their entire lives for their retirement.  In less than three years, defendants spent it all totaling $604,988.27. In 2013, Joseph and Marjorie Gonzales assigned Power of Attorney to their son, Michael, and daughter-in-law, Kimberly. By 2015, both Joseph and Marjorie were suffering from dementia. Marjorie died in January of 2016.

In 2016, a concerned family member contacted the Attorney General’s Office after learning the defendants had stopped paying for the healthcare facility where Joseph was living. The defendants also owed the facility almost $20,000.

Investigators discovered the defendants were withdrawing $1,000 to $1,500 weekly from their parents joint bank account starting in 2013.  Almost $100,000 was spent on improvements to the defendants home in Casa Grande which included a new pool, floors, bathroom remodel, solar roof, furniture, and landscaping.  The defendants also paid for vacations, cruises, and vehicles for themselves. The defendant’s even bought Kimberly’s parents a home with Joseph and Marjorie’s retirement money.   

Both defendants pleaded guilty to Theft, a class 4 Felony, and Unlawful Use of Power of Attorney, a class 2 Felony. Defendants must pay restitution of more than $600,000 to Joseph Gonzales. The Financial Remedies Section of the Attorney General’s Office obtained a forfeiture judgment against the defendants. Assets purchased by the defendants with the victim's money will be liquidated and paid back to the victim as restitution. 

Special Agent Dorothy Conroy with the AZAG Special Investigations Section investigated the case. 

Assistant Attorneys General Michael Powell and Shawn Steinberg prosecuted the case.

Assistant Attorney General Victoria Baldner with the AZAG Financial Remedies Section is assisting in obtaining restitution for the victim.