SWAMPSCOTT — A Swampscott man who, despite lacking experience as an investment adviser convinced an elderly Russian immigrant to hire him to manage her finances, has agreed to plead guilty to stealing more than $250,000 from her.
Federal prosecutors announced on Friday that Felix Gorovodsky, 29, of 18 Paradise Road, will be sentenced to 33 months in prison and must pay at least $318,000 in restitution when he pleads guilty in the case, under the terms of a plea agreement filed Thursday. A hearing is set for May 11 in U.S. District Court.
Gorovodsky, who has master's degrees in information technology and business administration from Endicott College, was $100,000 in debt from student loans and facing another $13,000 in credit card bills in 2019.
He had been working in Singapore as an information technology manager for the international criminal investigation agency INTERPOL, and had a second job as a technology consultant.
The victim, now 79, had immigrated to the United States from Russia in 1988 with her husband and lived in Houston, Texas, according to an affidavit in the complaint.
She was looking for a financial adviser who spoke Russian, and a relative of Gorovodsky who knew the woman recommended him for the role. He began collecting a fee for his work.
After the victim's husband died, she decided to sell their home and move to Ecuador. During that process, she agreed to give him power of attorney. He also convinced her to move her savings to a Capital One account, where he also had his accounts — accounts that were virtually empty.
The woman had revoked the power of attorney soon after that.
Unbeknownst to her, Gorovodsky added his own name to her new account.
About nine months later, after asking for student loan forgiveness and being turned down, Gorovodsky accessed the woman's bank account and transferred nearly $253,000 from the proceeds of the sale of her home to his own account.
When Capital One froze the remaining assets in the woman's account, Gorovodsky forged a letter, prosecutors say, purporting to be from the woman, saying she intended for him to have the money to pay for his student loans since she had no children of her own.
Prosecutors say he used some of the money, just over $100,000, to pay off his student loans, at least $23,000 to pay off credit card bills, and made numerous withdrawals from ATMs and a Venmo account after returning to the North Shore.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis.