Los Angeles: The Real Estate Fraud Unit (REFU) within Financial Crimes Division (FCD) brought a two-year investigation to conclusion on Monday, September 9, 2002 with the arrest of seven defendants.
The REFU is funded by the Real Estate Fraud Prosecution Grant and has been actively investigating real estate fraud cases for over two years. These arrests culminated a two- year investigation of a complex and sophisticated real estate fraud ring. The case was presented to the Los Angeles Grand Jury in August, 2002. The Grand Jury sent down indictments against 16 individuals, charging conspiracy to commit real estate fraud.
On September 9, 2002, Detectives from REFU and FCD served 7 of the 16 arrest warrants issued with the Grand Jury Indictment and arrested following suspects:
Mark H. Levin, Male 50 years old, of Calabassas.
Betty J. Bernhisel, Female, 53 years old, of Glendora
Penjalee C. Kennedy, Female, 38 years old, of Los Angeles
Lauri M. Lampkin, Female, 44 years old, of Los Angeles
Janet M. King, Female, 40 years old, of Los Angeles
Maria A. Villegas, Female, 40 years old, of Huntington Park
Derek M. Martin, Male, 39 years old, of Agoura Hills
REFU Detectives are actively seeking the arrest of the following individuals:
James J. Jeknavorian, Male, 52 years old, of Woodland Hills
Joseph A. Little, Male, 41 years old, of Simi Valley
Donald S. Knoblock, Male, 83 years old, of Studio City
John Robert Burnett, Male, 61 years old, of Santa Clarita
Jose M. Zertuche, Male, 56 years old, of Riverside
Linnea R. Bailey, Female, 55 years old, of Sun Valley
Kajuan M. Moore, Female, 37 years old, of North Hollywood
Birdie Y. McClain, Female, 55 years old, of Studio City
Sharon A. Presley, Female, 58 years old, of Studio City
For further information please contact Detective Erin Camphouse or Detective Nick Spathopoulos of the Real Estate Fraud Unit, at 213-847-2749.
This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Jason Lee, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.