Police Thursday are seeking the public’s help in identifying additional victims who might have fallen prey to a confidence scheme aimed at the deaf community, in which a man allegedly stole almost a half-million dollars from three people, authorities said.
Detectives served a search warrant Wednesday at Hussein Ibrahaim Dheini’s home in the 9400 block of Corbin Avenue in Northridge, Los Angeles Police Department said. Dheini was arrested on suspicion of robbery. His bail was set at $50,000.
“Hussein Ibrahaim Dheini preyed on fellow deaf persons,” LAPD Detective Tracey Angeles said. “Being deaf and fluent in American Sign Language, he took advantage of their trust and goodwill to steal nearly half a million dollar among three persons, and we think there could be more victims.”
A Lebanese national, Dheini, 37, was in the U.S. on an expired student visa.
According to police, the first victim came forward 10 days ago, explaining how Dheini extorted money on the pretense of business loans. He allegedly never repaid the loans and then pressured the victim for more money, to the point of using fear — which raised the con to robbery.
Also, two more victims have since come forward with similar stories, but with smaller losses.
“We want to encourage any potential to come forward and reassure them that naivete was merely a sign of kindness and good nature,” Angeles said.
LAPD West Valley detectives asked anyone with any information regarding additional victims to call them at (818) 374-7740.
—Staff and wire reports