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News Release

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Media Relations

Detectives Seeking Victims in Con Scam Aimed at the Deaf NR16130pv

Reseda: Detectives are asking the public's help in identifying additional victims who might have fallen prey to a confidence scheme, aimed at the Deaf Community.

"Hussein Ibrahaim Dheini preyed on fellow deaf persons," said Det. Tracey Angeles, head of LAPD's West Valley Robbery Table. "Being deaf and fluent in American Sign Language (ASL), he took advantage of their trust and goodwill to steal nearly a half million dollars among three persons, and we think there could be more victims."

The first victim came forward 10 days ago, explaining how Dheini extorted money on the pretense of business loans. He never repaid the loans then pressured the victim for more and more money, to the point of using duress and causing fear, which raised the con to robbery. Two more victims have since come forward with similar stories, but with smaller losses.

Detectives served a search warrant on Dheini's Northridge home, April 20, 2016, in the 9400 block of Corbin Avenue, and arrested him on a single charge of robbery. His bail was set at $50,000.

"Con-men, like Dheini, count on victims feeling shame and embarrassment for falling for a scam," Det. Angeles added. "But we want to encourage any potential victim to come forward and reassure them that their naiveté was merely a sign of their kindness and good nature."

Hussein Ibrahaim Dheini, 37, is a Lebanese national, in the USA on an expired student visa. He was provided a Certified ASL Interpreter during all aspects of his contact with police.

Police encourage the public to seek out advice of trusted family members, friends, or professional financial advisors prior to entering into large money transactions.

West Valley Detective personnel will be available April 21, 2016, from 8AM until 3PM for media interviews.

Anyone with information is urged to call Detective III Tracey Angeles, West Valley Robbery detectives, at 818-374-7740. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to (877) LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters "LAPD." Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.


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