A Tarzana man involved in a scheme centered in the San Fernando Valley that targeted buyers of luxury cars including Bentleys and Maseratis was sentenced Friday to nine years in state prison.
Arman Mave Hazarian, also known as Dean Hazarian, pleaded no contest in October to three felony counts of grand theft auto and one felony count of grand theft.
The 48-year-old man also admitted he had taken property valued at more than $3.2 million, as well as more than $500,000 through fraud and embezzlement, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Co-defendant Afshin Hashemi, also known as Al Hashemi, of Hollywood, 48, pleaded no contest to the same charges. He was sentenced to four years in county jail.
The scheme involved the loss of more than 40 vehicles, including Bentley, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Rolls Royce, Jaguar and Lexus models — some of which were never recovered, according to Deputy District Attorney Alex Karkanen.
The two men used online ads between August 2017 and this February to persuade investors to lease or buy expensive cars and turn them over to the defendants to be subleased at a profit, the prosecutor said.
Hazarian and Hashemi instead sold the cars to unsuspecting buyers and kept the cash, leaving the victims financially responsible for the vehicles, according to court testimony. The two also defrauded the vehicles’ secondary buyers by receiving money for the vehicles, but never signing over the titles, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
The two were arrested March 15 by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies and have remained in custody since then, according to jail records.
The charges stemmed from a yearlong investigation by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol as part of the Taskforce for Regional Auto Theft Prevention.
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