Pair Sentenced For Running Luxury Automobile Sublease Scam In San Fernando Valley

Los Angeles District Attorney
Los Angeles District Attorney

December 6, 2019

Two men were sentenced today for stealing nearly $4 million in cash and luxury vehicles in a high-end automobile sublease scam in the San Fernando Valley, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Arman Mave Hazarian (dob 11/5/71), aka Dean Hazarian, of Tarzana was sentenced to nine years in state prison and Afshin Hashemi (dob 8/8/71) aka Al Hashemi, of Hollywood was sentenced to four years in county jail. The men were sentenced by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Ulfig in case PA092423.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Alex Karkanen of the Automobile Insurance Fraud Division.

In October, Hazarian and Hashemi both pleaded no contest to three felony counts of grand theft of an automobile and one felony count of grand theft.

Hazarian admitted allegations of taking more than $500,000 through fraud and embezzlement and taking property valued at more than $3.2 million.

From August 2017 to February 2019, Hazarian and Hashemi used online ads to convince investors to lease or purchase luxury vehicles and turn them over to the defendants who were supposed to sublease the vehicles at a profit. The men instead sold the automobiles to unsuspecting buyers and pocketed the cash, leaving the victims financially responsible for the vehicles, according to court testimony.

Some of the victims provided multiple cars to the defendants, resulting in individual losses of up to $750,000.

The defendants also defrauded the secondary buyers by receiving money for the vehicles but never signing over the titles.

The scheme involved the loss of more than 40 vehicles of brands including Bentley, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Rolls Royce, Jaguar, and Lexus. Some of the cars were never recovered, Karkanen said.

A year-long investigation was conducted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the California Highway Patrol as part of the Taskforce for Regional Auto Theft Prevention.

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