A 37-year-old La Puente man accused of bilking victims out of fees totaling $100,000 for processing fake DWP job applications pleaded not guilty Monday to 14 felony counts.
James Raymond Zulaica appeared in a West Covina courtroom on 13 counts of grand theft and one count of identify theft. He is due back in court March 10, when a date is expected to be set for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.
Zulaica allegedly told residents he was a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employee named Jimmy Rojas and offered non-existent jobs at the utility.
“For a fee (he told victims) he would process the applications,” Covina police Sgt. Gregg Peterson alleged. “The fees he charged each individual victim ranged from $1,300 to $15,000.”
Zulaica was arrested Thursday during a search of his home and was being held in lieu of $45,000 bail, according to Sheriff’s Department records.
Peterson said police have identified about 30 alleged victims, but detectives believe there may be more who have not yet come forward. Anyone with information or questions about the case was asked to call (626) 384-5615.
— City News Service