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News Release

Tuesday, January 8, 2002

Media Relations

Real Estate Agents Face Trial for Fraud


Los Angeles: On March 19, 2001, the Real Estate Fraud unit (REFU) within the Los Angeles Police Department's Financial Crimes Division received a case involving an identity theft victim, who's name was used to purchase a condominium in Devonshire Division. The suspects had successfully rented the condominium to unsuspecting tenants who paid their rent, on time, to the suspects for approximately four years. Additionally, during that same four years, the equity in the condo had reached approximately $50,000.00.

The case arrived at REFU with statute of limitation problems. After discussing the particulars of the case with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, the case was given priority.

The suspects, Angela Sanchez and Leopaldo Alvarez were both licensed real estate agents. On December 14, 2001, Deputy District Attorney Leslie Kenyon filed six felony counts on each defendant, including forgery, filing a false document, identity theft and false financial statement. Felony warrants were issued for their arrests.

On December 19, 2001, Detectives from the REFU responded to the Sanchez home in Downey, and the Alvarez home in Hacienda Heights. Both suspects were arrested on the outstanding warrants without incident. Both suspects posted bail and will be arraigned on January 9, 2002 in the Division 30.

For further information regarding this investigation, contact Detective Grainne Murray or Detective Erin Camphouse of REFU 213-847-2749.

This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Jason Lee, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.