Los Angeles immigrant fraud unit nabbing con artists
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Operating with virtual impunity in Los Angeles for years, con artists have long targeted immigrants desperate for expert legal advice, defrauding some of them of their life savings and only hastening deportations or other personal disasters.
But prosecutors say a new fraud unit at the county district attorney’s office has been targeting such scammers since 2017, prosecuting eight cases that cheated at least 300 immigrants out of $3 million.
The most recent conviction, that of 49-year-old Romina Zadorian of Montebello, involved 91 victims who were taken for $667,000.
Zadorian was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in state prison after pleading guilty to grand theft, extortion and producing false government documents.
Before the so-called Notario Fraud Unit was up and running, prosecutors say such cases were rarely prosecuted in the county.