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Arman Hazarian and Afshin Hashemi Arrested for Defrauding Investors of Over $4 Million in Car Sublease Scam

STAFF REPORT

Investigators from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, California Department of Motor Vehicles, Los Angeles Police Department, and California Highway Patrol have concluded a 12-month investigation into a high-end auto subleasing scam centered in the San Fernando Valley, that defrauded a dozen innocent investors of nearly $4 million.

The case was coordinated by the Los Angeles Taskforce for Regional Autotheft Prevention (T.R.A.P.), and encompassed the loss of over 40 high-end vehicles, which included Bentley, Maserati, Mercedes Benz, BMWs, Rolls Royce, Jaguar, and Lexus vehicles.  These stolen automobiles were taken from investors who, individually, lost amounts up to $750,000.

In the scam, the suspects allegedly defrauded victims, who were solicited over the internet to be investors.  The victims would purchase or lease the high-end vehicles and turn them over to the suspects, who would, in turn, lease the vehicles to others at a profit.

Instead, police discovered the vehicles were being stolen, sold to unsuspecting buyers, and used in criminal activity – leaving the “investors” responsible for the costs of the vehicles, often in amounts exceeding $500,000.  Some of these high-end cars have never been recovered.

Suspects Arman Hazarian, male 47 years-old, of Tarzana, and Afshin Hashemi, male 47 years-old, of Hollywood, were arrested Friday, March 15, 2019, and are being held in lieu of $3.8 million bail.

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office announced Monday, March 18, 2019, both suspects were charged with 40 felony counts of grand theft of an automobile, and six felony counts of grand theft. They are due in North Valley Superior Court Tuesday, March 26, 2019.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact Los Angeles Taskforce for Regional Autotheft Prevention (T.R.A.P.) Headquarters at (626) 873-2357.

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2 Responses to Arman Hazarian and Afshin Hashemi Arrested for Defrauding Investors of Over $4 Million in Car Sublease Scam

  1. Jas

    March 20, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    Wonder if these cars are some of the paper DMV used in burglaries around this areas.

    • Susan Amy Herman

      March 27, 2019 at 8:23 am

      It would not surprise me one bit there’s nothing these crooks want to do $4