FRESNO (AP) ― The phony lives of a prominent Fresno doctor and his wife, whose death was faked after she posed for years as French royalty in horse show circles, were undone in court when they lost a real estate fraud lawsuit.
A Fresno County jury agreed Thursday with the plaintiffs that the couple concocted the elaborate story to inflate the selling price of their 15-acre Parlier horse ranch in 2008. “In all my years I have never seen anything that matches this,” said attorney Daniel Spitzer, who represents the couple who bought the property.
The case, while about real estate, served to expose the bizarre life of the reclusive former National Raisin Queen from the Central California farming community of Lindsay.
Testimony showed the woman changed her name from Genevieve Sanders to Genevieve de Montremare in 1991 and passed herself off as a genetics expert in high-end Friesen horse circles. She even pretended to be a grief-struck employee when the buyers visited the property, testimony showed.
“One of the ironies of this case is that Genevieve de Montremare actually developed a certain expertise in horse breeding,” Spitzer said. “Had she simply been honest and forthright about whom she was she might have actually done well in that area. But we will never know.”