George Dumstorf, 70, admitted to having two wives — he married the first wife in 1960 — and was sentenced to 27 months in prison, prosecutors said. About two weeks ago, he had been sentenced to 27 months in prison in Kentucky on federal bank fraud charges, and Bay County Circuit Court Judge Richard Albritton ordered George to serve that time concurrently with the Florida bigamy sentence.
"We were prepared to show that (Martha-Irene Weed-Dumstorf) used her influence as an attorney to convince him that he could reasonably marry her, but we were offered a sweetheart deal," said Jonathan Dingus, the attorney for Dumstorf. Martha-Irene Weed-Dumstorf is one of Dumstorf's wives.
The judge could have sentenced Dumstorf to serve up to five years after the 27-month sentence, Dingus said. Bigamy is a third-degree felony in Florida.
Dumstorf was released on a surety bond to face trial later this week in Tampa on a property dispute with Weed-Dumstorf.
Weed-Dumstorf met Dumstorf while working as his attorney to dissolve his second marriage, to Judy Howell. Weed-Dumstorf said she now is in the process of annulling her four-year marriage to Dumstorf.
Dumstorf's marriage to Howell was dissolved in 2000, and in court documents, Dumstorf said Weed-Dumstorf sent a letter to Stephanie Dumstorf, his first wife whom he married in 1960, informing her of the divorce. He also said his attorney told him the judge's decision in the Howell marriage resolved his marriage to Stephanie Dumstorf.
Weed-Dumstorf, of Hernando County, said Monday she never knew about the first wife. Weed-Dumstorf, who was at the Monday sentencing, said in a phone interview she believes George Dumstorf might have been married, or at least engaged, to additional women.
She said she and her parents, who live in Bay County, "have all been embarrassed." She is working with Florida legislators to craft a marriage registry, where people can search a database to confirm a divorce, death or annulment. She said George Dumstorf told her that he had divorced his first wife, Stephanie Dumstorf, and that she died, which was untrue.
Martha Dumstorf said Stephanie Dumstorf did not divorce him until fall 2006, when she found out he was married to Weed-Dumstorf.
"George had all the accoutrements of life without working for them," she said.
In his response to the state's lawsuit, Dumstorf argued that his third wife, Weed-Dumstorf, married him despite knowing about the first wife in order to get his assets.
Weed-Dumstorf said she is named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by George Dumstorf's family for money he allegedly took improperly from his mother's estate. She said she also is named as a defendant in the Kentucky bank fraud case for which George Dumstorf was sentenced, and the bank there is suing her to reclaim an $850,000 loan provided with fraudulent collateral.
Dingus also said George Dumstorf and Weed-Dumstorf are fighting over a $2.2 million horse farm north of Tampa, but he is not representing George Dumstorf in any of those disputes.
Although George Dumstorf was assessed only $1,200 in fines Monday, outcomes of the other lawsuits could cost him much more, Dingus added.
Because of the overlap of state and federal charges, as well as pending cases, Dingus said George Dumstorf will turn himself in at a location to be determined by U.S. marshals.
"It's hoped that he will turn himself in at the Coleman, Fla., facility. That's closest to his residence," Dingus said.
In 20-plus years as both a prosecution and defense attorney, Dingus said he has never seen a bigamy case heard in Bay County.