A Newport Beach man has been sentenced to six months in jail for allegedly impersonating a fire marshal and charging small businesses in Orange County for fraudulent inspections, authorities said Tuesday.
Brian Lee Carsten, 37, pleaded guilty on Sept. 15, according to Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.
Carsten was sentenced to 180 days in jail and three years of formal probation and ordered to pay restitution.
One of the incidents occurred on Aug. 31, 2016, when Carsten entered Beach Auto Sound in Huntington Beach “while wearing a uniform and identifying himself as a fire marshal,” Rackauckas said in a statement.
“(He) charged the victim $209 for his fraudulent inspection of the business and provided a bill and receipt on Cal-Fire letterhead,” the statement said.
Another incident occurred on Sept. 16, 2016, when Carsten entered State College Distributors in Anaheim, represented himself as a fire marshal, and performed a fraudulent inspection of that business, the statement said.
“The defendant threatened the victim with a citation if he did not pay for the inspection,” the statement said. “Carsten returned to the business the following day with forged invoices and receipts and collected two payments of $209 … from the victim.”
An investigation led to Carsten’s arrest by Anaheim police.
—City News Service