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$15 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme Results In 12 Arrests

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The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) announced the indictment and arrest of 12 individuals on 133 felony counts for allegedly operating a sophisticated mortgage fraud and green loan scheme throughout Southern California. 

The scheme resulted in a loss of approximately $15 million over several years. A dozen suspects were charged with conspiracy, mortgage fraud, grand theft, identity theft, forgery, filing a false or forged document, money laundering, as well as a special allegation for aggravated white-collar crime, according to the LAPD.

A Los Angeles County grand jury indicted Tamara Dadyan, Richard Ayvazyan, Artur Ayvazyan, Grigor Tatoian, Andranik Petrosyan, Artashes Martirosyan, Arshak Bartoumian, Lilit Malyan, Lubia Carrillo, Rosa Zarate, Estephanie Reynoso and Vanessa Bell, according to investigators. 

11 out of the 12 defendants were arrested on April 29 and pleaded not guilty at their arraignments on May 5.

The arrests were the result of a multi-year investigation led by the Los Angeles Police Department, assisted by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General (FHFA-OIG). The Fraud and Special Prosecutions Unit of the California Department of Justices prosecuted this case.

Between 2014 and 2020, defendants collectively ran a scheme that used stolen identities to obtain mortgage and green loans. The identities belonged to real persons, some of whom were in state prison, had developmental disabilities or were deceased. 

The defendants allegedly seized control of these identities and commonly constructed synthetic identities with real identities. In constructing the synthetic identities, defendants created email accounts, shell companies, and bank accounts. 

They altered tax documents, payroll statements, and bank statements to reflect the identities as high-net-worth individuals. The suspects also forged the signatures, names, and personal information of the identities on loan applications, financial documents and county recorder documents. 

Using this fake construction, the defendants applied for millions of dollars in loans from unsuspecting lenders of mortgage and green loans, which were subsequently wired to bank accounts within the defendants’ control.

As a part of their operation, the suspects exploited Ygrene Energy Fund and Renew Funding. These companies provided funding to licensed contractors for energy-efficient home improvements for homeowners. 

The defendants also used the identities to obtain mortgage loans from conventional banks and hard money lenders. For years, they successfully applied for loans, culminating in a $15 million loss, according to police.

Additional victims or anyone with information is asked to please contact Detective Lyle Barnes, Commercial Crimes Division, at (213) 486-6979. During non-business hours, or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-527-3247. 

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or go directly here.

Crime

Chiropractors Charged In $2.5 Million Auto Insurance Fraud, Kickback Scheme

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Los Angeles Courtroom-2

A dozen chiropractors have been charged in a $2.5 million insurance fraud and illegal kickback scheme involving automobile collision medical claims.

The scheme’s alleged ringleader, Yury Chernega, 49, of Studio City, faces four counts each of the aforementioned charges as well as one count of money laundering, according to Pamela Johnson, spokesperson for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The charges include allegations of taking more than $500,000 from about 30 insurance companies through fraud and embezzlement.

“Defrauding insurance companies is a serious crime that costs all of us in the form of higher premiums,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement. “We will continue to work with local, state and federal regulators to protect consumers from financial crimes.”

Prosecutors have charged the defendants with nine felony counts, including insurance fraud and participating in patient referral rebates when licensed in the healing arts or as a chiropractor, according to the D.A.’s Office. 

Three other San Fernando Valley residents were arrested in connection to the scheme including Bruce Householder, of Burbank, Alexander Royzman, of Granda Hills, and Payam Shayan, of Tarzana.

Canyon Country resident Luzan Madain was also charged with the alleged fraud, according to prosecutors. 

From 2014 through 2019, Chernega allegedly offered to refer new patients to other chiropractors in return for an illegal referral fee, through which he collected about $2.5 million, prosecutors said. The patients allegedly had been involved in automobile collisions. 

The defendants also are accused of filing false claims for medical services they never provided. The case stems from an ongoing case involving Chernega and 14 additional chiropractors filed in 2019. 

The case remains under investigation by the District Attorney’s Auto Insurance Fraud Division and Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the California Department of Insurance, the California Franchise Tax Board, the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners and the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Arraignment for all but one defendant has been scheduled for June 29 in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Arraignment for Royzman is expected to take place the following week. 

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Tujunga Man Charged With Domestic Violence Kidnapping, Murder Of Good Samaritan

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North Hollywood Shooting Kidnapping
Devon Miller / The Valley Post

A Tujunga man has been charged with kidnapping his ex-girlfriend and fatally shooting a man who tried to intervene in North Hollywood. 

Shane Winfield Rayment, 37, faces one felony count each of murder, kidnapping, criminal threats, injuring a girlfriend, first-degree residential burglary with person present and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón. 

“It’s especially tragic when a good Samaritan becomes a victim,” Gascón said in a statement.  “I send my heartfelt condolences to his family. Mr. Fletes will always be remembered for his heroic actions on behalf of another.”

On June 6, Rayment went to the North Hollywood home where his ex-girlfriend was staying and struggled with her when Roberto Conjeo Fletes attempted to intervene, prosecutors said. Rayment is accused of fatally shooting Fletes, 42, before fleeing with her. 

The woman was found on June 8 during a traffic stop in Hemet and Rayment was arrested. 

Hemet officers conducted a felony traffic stop and took Rayment into custody without incident.  

“The victim of the kidnapping, Jenny Downes, was discovered in the vehicle, battered and bruised, but alive,” investigators said.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.

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Crime

Detectives Investigating Deadly Sun Valley Shooting

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Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Valley Bureau Homicide are investigating a fatal Sun Valley shooting.

On June 9, about 11 p.m., LAPD Foothill patrol officers responded to the report of an assault with a deadly weapon on the 7900 block of Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Sun Valley, according to the department in a statement.

Moments later, a second radio call was received just a few blocks down Laurel Canyon Boulevard for a traffic collision involving a 2021 Land Rover.

The preliminary investigation revealed that the victim was involved in a dispute that ended in a shooting. 

The victim drove away from the scene and collided with parked vehicles on the 7600 block of Laurel Canyon Boulevard, according to detectives. 

Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded and transported the victim to a local hospital where he died during surgery.   

The victim is described as a 43-year-old, male from Los Angeles. The identity has not been released pending notification of next of kin.

As of Thursday, there are no suspects identified, according to the LAPD.

Anyone with additional information is urged to call Detective Steve Castro, Valley Bureau Homicide, at (818) 374-1925.  During non-business hours, or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-527-3247.  

Those wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or go directly here.

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