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Shore Hotel Executive Faces Four Felony Counts

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Jorge Casuso

January 14, 2020 -- Steve Farzam, chief operating officer of the Shore Hotel in Santa Monica, is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday on four felony counts, according to court records.

Farzam faces two counts of identity theft, one count of attempting to dissuade a witness and one count of counterfeiting a government seal.

Three of the charges stem from a civil suit filed by former hotel employee Lieber Hernandez alleging sexual misconduct against him, according to a December 18 article in the Daily Journal.

According to the felony complaint filed November 15, sometime between March 1 and March 31, 2017 Farzam attempted to "prevent and dissuade" Hernandez from "attending and giving testimony at a trial."

Farzam also faces two counts of identity theft for unlawfully acquiring Hernandez's personal identifying information on or about March 24 to "obtain, and attempt to obtain credit, goods, services, real property and medical information" without her consent, according to the complaint.

Farzam also faces one count of counterfeiting a Los Angeles County Superior Court seal on or about February 14, 2018.

That charge stems from Farzam's efforts to remove a damaging investigation of his past posted by the online journalism site Atavist, according to the Daily Journal.

Farzam allegedly used the counterfeit seal on a court order attached to a demand letter asking Google to take down the article, the Journal reported.

According to the report, "The article was an expose detailing Farzam's previously untold history of reckless, sometime criminal behavior.

"It included law enforcement allegations that Farzam illegally possessed and trafficked automatic weapons and impersonated FBI officers."

The felony complaint filed in November is not the first time Farzam faces criminal charges.

In 2002, he pleaded no contest to seven of 19 counts, including larceny and impersonating a police officer, according to court records.

In 2005, Farzam was ordered to serve three years probation after pleading guilty to filing a false report of an emergency, court records show.

And in January 2015, he was ordered to serve five years probation and 182 days in County Jail for unauthorized computer access, impersonating a police officer and possession of an assault weapon, according to court records.

Wednesday's arraignment comes one month after the California Coastal Commission narrowly voted to allow the Shore to continue operating after fining it a record $17.8 million for building the luxury hotel without the proper permit ("Shore Hotel Obtains Coastal Permits, Sets Aside Affordable Rooms," December 13, 2019).

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