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John Hollenhorst ReportingHow could a man allegedly juggle nine wives, women who didn't know of each other, and cheat them all out of large sums of money?
George Upton spent much of his adult life in prison. After he got out less than a year and half ago, investigators say he hooked a number of mostly elderly women and kept them on the line. He apparently used charm, intelligence and a zest for living on the edge.
By all accounts, George Upton is gentlemanly, outgoing and fun, a man who knows the right things to say, the right buttons to push to get women to fall in love.
Anonymous "Wife", Sandy Resident: “Yes, I think I really did care for him at one point. And he was very, very charming.”
It wasn't puppy love. He's in his early 60's. The women tend to be older.
Eva Jean Moffat, Ogden Resident: “He was loving, as it was. But not no romance.”
Eva Jean Moffat got a marriage license and hitched up with Upton last year under his fake name, Domonique DeGeorgio. They moved repeatedly, from Ogden to Palm Springs, Madeira, California to Baker City, Oregon.
Eva Jean Moffat: “I can see now why we went from here to here to there to there. It was because of his shenanigans.”
Upton, or DeGeorgio, kept the women unaware of each other.
Anonymous Wife: “He was always disappearing.”
His excuse was far-flung business interests: clothing stores, real estate, cattle ranching.
Eva Jean Moffat: “So he’d be gone for maybe a week, and then he’d come back, maybe stay one or two days and then he’d be gone again.”
His wives let him use their credit cards. Moffat even put his name on her bank accounts. She says he arranged to intercept her mail.
Eva Jean Moffat: “I said, ‘What about this bill? What about that bill?’ ‘Oh, I’ve taken care of it, I’ve taken care of it, don’t worry about it.’”
Upton has a fantastic memory, one wife says, which he relied on to juggle numerous wives and scams.
Anonymous Wife: “Later on in the relationship, one morning he looked at me and he shook his head and said, ‘I think my head’s going to explode!” Because he’s trying to remember all these things.”
While he was courting her, she says he took her to three stores one day. She found out later, he invited Moffat to the same stores the same day. She believes he loves the gamesmanship, living on the edge.
Anonymous Wife: “I think that’s the whole thing, I really do. Because with the talent and the charm that he has, if he had put it to good use, he could have still been rich, made a lot of money. But he chose to use it this way. And I think it’s the edge, the adrenaline rush, I really do. Emotionally I think he’s a cripple, I don’t think he really has any feeling for anyone.”
Upton is facing four felony counts in Oregon and may someday be extradited to Utah on various charges. Investigators allege he had wives and scams in at least eight states.