Over 20 years, former Louisville, KY businessman and educator George W. Dumstorf Jr. juggled three wives and a girlfriend, the women say, in what prosecutors call "a scheme to court single ladies ... and make money off of them."
To explain his frequent absences, he told the women, who didn't know each other, that he had a secret job at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, that he was an Air Force general, that he worked for the CIA. None of it was true, according to spokesmen for those agencies.
"He was a great teller of stories," said Stephanie Dumstorf, his first spouse, a former teacher at St Gabriel Catholic School in Louisville.
Now George Dumstorf, 69, whose family owns an appliance company, The Trend Cos. of Kentucky, is in trouble in his hometown too. According to an indictment unsealed Jan. 3 in U.S. District Court in Louisville, Dumstorf allegedly passed counterfeit certificates of deposit to Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co. as collateral for $850,000 in loans. The bank is suing him for fraud, as are two of his siblings, who allege that he looted their mother's estate in the amount of $500,000 with a doctored power of attorney.
Dumstorf didn't respond to e-mails, faxes and requests for comment passed through one of his attorneys. He lives in a trailer in the woods 40 miles north of Tampa, according to his third wife, Martha-Irene Gaunt Weed.
He has pleaded not guilty to charges in Florida and Kentucky and denied the fraud allegations in the lawsuits. He faces a maximum of five years in prison if convicted on the bigamy charge and 30 years on the fraud charge. Trials are set for Feb. 15 and Feb. 28, respectively.
The accusations against Dumstorf have stunned his family, his ex-wives and former girlfriend, who say they've been left to wonder if he ever really cared about them.
"My world collapsed -- the sun rose and set with him," said Weed, a Tampa lawyer who married Dumstorf in 2004, a few years after representing him in his divorce from his second wife, Judy Howell, who says she didn't know about his marriage to first wife Stephanie Dumstorf until near the end of her own marriage.
George Dumstorf's younger brother, Joseph, president of The Trend Cos., said that he was flabbergasted to discover that his brother had any wives besides Stephanie, with whom he had seven children.
"I don't know my brother," Joseph Dumstorf said. "The person I thought I knew does not exist."
Read the remainder of Andrew Wolfson's article in the Louisville Courier-Journal.