Fraud Suspects Arrested After Two Year Investigation

September 10, 2002

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.