This weekender you are updatered on guilty pleas from a Huntington Beach man who embezzled about $2 million from customers buying and selling luxury cars from his Costa Mesa dealership and a Costa Mesa woman who ran a foreclosure rescue fraud scheme that targeted homeowners with bogus promises of mortgage relief.
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Update: Farhad Ebadat pleaded guilty this week and was immediately sentenced to 13 years in prison for embezzling about $2 million from customers buying and selling luxury cars from his Costa Mesa dealership. While owning and operating Bellagio Motors from 2009-12, the 39-year-old Huntington Beach resident ripped off customers by telling them he would sell their high-end vehicles such as Rolls Royces and Lamborghinis on consignment, pay the owners and then transfer the car titles to the buyers, but prosecutors told the court he sold the cars and pocketed proceeds of $25,00 to $225,000. Besides stinging those who truly owned the vehicles, the buyers were unable to get legal car titles because the rightful owners had not been paid. Ebadat, who has been in custody since Dec. 6, 2012, was also ordered to pay about $2 million in restitution, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office.
Story: Mortgage Scam Suspect Arrested Boarding LAX Flight To Afghanistan Update: Najia Jalan, 30, of Costa Mesa, pleaded guilty in federal court in Los Angeles this week to charges stemming from a foreclosure rescue fraud scheme that targeted homeowners with bogus promises of mortgage relief. Jalan, who copped to mail fraud and aggravated identity theft counts, faces between two and six years in federal prison when she is sentenced Oct. 5 by U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Though not a licensed attorney, Jalan used company names such as the National Legal Help Center, United National Mortgage Protection Center, OC NonProfit and American Consumer Law Center to trick victims into paying her substantial fees for fake services, according to prosecutors, who add she also employed various aliases. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sued Jalan and a co-defendant in 2012 in connection with the National Legal Help Center, which falsely claimed that they would provide legal representation for consumers even though the defendants were not attorneys and consumers received no actual legal representation.