Couple Charged In S.M. Mail Fraud Scheme
By Lookout Staff
December 13 -- A Southland couple who used a Santa Monica rented mail box to bilk more than 1,200 victims has been arrested and charged in a wide-ranging mail fraud scheme.
The couple is alleged to have used a mail box at the UPS Store on Wilshire Boulevard to receive payments from victims around the country who were charged $20 each to sign up for work stuffing envelopes at home.
The pair is charged with sending out false advertising to induce victims, then providing nothing at all, or at most worthless documents, according to the City Attorney’s office.
Maciej Noworyta and Brenda Chaidezdiaz were arrested at their Chino Hills home on December 2 and taken to Los Angeles County Jail. They were released on $200,000 combined bail last week.
As conditions of their bail, Noworyta and Chaidezdiaz had to surrender their passports, were ordered to remain in Southern California and were prohibited from selling their real estate or motor vehicles.
“Consumers should always be wary of so-called employment offers that require them to pay any money,” said Deputy City Attorney Adam Radinsky. “If you’re working for them, they should only be paying you.”
Radinsky also warned that all solicitations – whether by mail, telephone, or email – should be treated with healthy skepticism. “If they contact you, and not the other way around, be very careful,” said Radinsky.
The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office has filed a 30-count criminal complaint against Noworyta and Chaidezdiaz charging conspiracy, grand theft, and false advertising.
The City Attorney’s Office together with federal investigators is continuing to search for additional victims who may have made payments over the past year.
The pair are alleged to have operated under a number of different names, including:
A pretrial conference is scheduled for January 26 at the LAX courthouse. No trial date has been set.
If convicted, Noworyta and Chaidezdiaz face the following potential penalties:
Copyright 1999-2008 surfsantamonica.com. All Rights Reserved.