The woman who deceived an elderly World War II vet out of more than $2.6 million will spend the next 6½ years in prison.
Pima County Superior Court Judge Teresa Godoy sentenced Donna Iman on Monday after a guilty plea to fraudulent schemes and artifices.
Godoy said the sentence was partially aggravated based on the sophisticated and prolonged scheme Iman employed to drain much of the 93-year-old victim’s assets.
Assistant Arizona Attorney General Doug Clark said Iman’s actions were more than a simple theft, rather her crimes represented extensive deception and breach of trust.
“He is somebody who simply loved and trusted the wrong person,” Clark said of the victim, Thomas Gerbing. “This had a very significant impact on an elderly victim.”
Iman, 47, met Gerbing at a church they attended. As a friendship developed, Iman began to claim she suffered from numerous medical conditions.
Prosecutors said Iman targeted her claims to play on Gerbing’s sympathies, as he had lost his longtime wife several years earlier to similar ailments Iman professed to suffer from.
Between 2010 and 2012, Iman convinced Sebring she suffered from seizures, pancreatic cancer and other life-threatening ailments, which she did not really have.
With the hundreds of thousands of dollars Gerbing gave her for fictitious medical care, Iman took vacations, had cosmetic surgery, bought property and made plans to have a new home built.
The victim also was supporting Iman through what he was led to believe was a difficult time. Iman convinced him that her medical condition rendered her unable to work. Gerbing began to pay her $4,000 a month to cover her expenses.
Iman’s attorney didn’t deny her actions were wrong and caused Gerbing harm. “It was a bad act of significant proportion,” said Walter Nash.
Nash said once Iman’s thefts were discovered she cooperated with police and investigators.
He said she also has helped in efforts to restore Gerbing’s assets.
“She has voluntarily been willing to turn over assets that could not be reached through the restoration hearing,” Nash said.
In addition to prison, Iman was ordered to pay more than $2 million in restitution.