LOS ANGELES (Nixle) — Between March, 2019 and April, 2019, an imposter posing as a Los Angeles County deputy sheriff stole thousands of dollars from numerous victims. The imposter called residents, told them he was a deputy sheriff with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) and demanded payment of a fine for failing to respond to a jury duty summons.
In fear of being arrested, victims paid the fine in the form of gift cards. The truth was, the imposter lied about the jury summonses, and used a fraudulent sense of emergency and pressure to coerce hard-earned money from unsuspecting people, many of them elderly.
Several reports with similar characteristics were received and investigation of the crime spree was assigned to detectives from the Fraud and Cyber Crimes Bureau-Emerging Cyber Trends team. As the investigation proceeded, it became clear the imposter used a sophisticated set of techniques to hide his location and identity, including telephone number spoofs and the use of names of real LASD personnel.
Detectives identified the suspect as Nicolas Brady Kennedy, 29, of Loganville, Georgia. They travelled to Georgia, where they worked with investigators from the Loganville Police Department and the U.S. Marshalls Service, to obtain and serve a search warrant at the suspect’s residence. During service of the warrant, the suspect and additional evidence were located, as well as a second suspect, Ashley Marie Walker, 28, of Loganville, Georgia.
Kennedy was charged with six counts of Extortion, California Penal Code Section 518, and three counts of Attempted Extortion, California Penal Code Sections 664 and 518, by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Kennedy is being held in the Gwinnett County Jail in Georgia on a probation hold, pending extradition to California.
Walker was charged with three counts of Extortion, California Penal Code Section 518, and three counts of Attempted Extortion, Penal Code Sections 664 and 518, by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Walker is currently out of custody. A warrant was issued for her arrest.
During a press conference held Monday, September 16, 2019, Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced the investigation.
Chief Pat Nelson outlined the investigation and presented methods of preventing falling prey to similar scams. “The main focus…is to make sure we try to avoid additional victims,” he said. “It’s much better if we’re able to warn the public of the danger, to begin with.”
If you receive a demand for payment by telephone, email or other means of communication, to be made in any form for any reason, from someone portraying themself as a deputy sheriff or other Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department employee, do not comply. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department personnel will never ask for payment over the phone or by email.
If you believe you were a victim of this type of crime, contact your local law enforcement agency and report the incident.
Here are some tips to identify a potential threat-based impersonation scam and how to prevent yourself from falling prey to this scam or similar scams:
- Scammers pretend to be from a government agency.
- They threaten victims with arrest for outstanding warrants or other legal issue.
- They pressure victims to purchase various types of gift cards or instruct them how to purchase bitcoin.
- Once a victim makes the purchase, the scammer instructs them to read the gift card numbers or bitcoin key over the phone.
- Once the scammer is satisfied they received the necessary information, the line is disconnected.
- Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department personnel will never ask for any type of payment over the telephone. Financial transactions with our agency are handled at patrol stations, court houses and custody facilities.
- If you are unsure if a call or email is real, verify the identity of the contact through an independent source, such as a phone book or online search. Do not use the contact details provided by the caller or in the message they sent.
- Do not feel pressured by a threatening caller. Hang up and verify their story.
- Never send money, or give bank account, credit card or personal information to anyone you do not know or trust.
- A government agency or trusted business will never ask for payment by unconventional methods, such as gift or store cards, iTunes, cards, wire transfers, or bitcoin.
LA Alcohol Delivery Sees Massive Spike Following “Safer at Home” Order
LOS ANGELES — Following California Governor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Safer at Home” order, Saucey has experienced an unprecedented number of users on their alcohol delivery platform.
The company has seen a 300% increase in area sales compared to a standard delivery day.
“As the concern over the COVID-19 virus has grown at both the state and public levels, I think you’re not so coincidentally seeing a rise in people ordering alcohol,” says Saucey co-founder and CEO Chris Vaughn. “We’re feeling the effects elsewhere too, like San Francisco and Chicago; we’re doing our best to assist everyone who wants to use us and use us safely.”
The Los Angeles-based app recognizes they are among select delivery services fortunate enough to be helping people in a variety of markets as they practice social distancing and protect themselves from the rapidly spreading Coronavirus.
“It’s good to see so many people making lifestyle adjustments that let them be as comfortable as they can be during this time,” Vaughn said.
There may be something to that comfort thing. Since March 15, Saucey has seen ice cream sales spike by 500% and soft drinks by 150%. Lime sales also spiked by 350%, potentially pointing to more people making mixed drinks.
As for the alcohol, vodka tops Saucey’s spirit sales and is up by 250%. Whiskey, however, saw the greatest spike at 300%. IPAs held the highest increase in sales in their beer category at 300%.
Saucey will continue providing safe deliveries to the people of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, San Diego, Chicago, New York, Dallas, Silicon Valley, Orange County and San Jose.
Costco Says Don’t Even Think of Returning Toilet Paper
(TMZ) — Costco is unsympathetic to all the folks who stocked up on toilet paper like they were never gonna get another sheet … because the superstore has made it clear — NO REFUNDS!!!
This sign was plastered on the wall of the Costco in Pentagon City outside Washington, D.C. Now that people have settled in, it seems they’re realizing they have waaaaaay too much toilet paper, hand sanitizer, wipes and Lysol, and apparently some are trying to return it for cash.
You gotta be a little sympathetic … lots of people got laid off after they hoarded these items, so money is a huge issue.
Also on the no-return list — Water and rice.
Drives Aim to Keep Historic Restaurants Alive During Outbreak
LOS ANGELES (Daily News) — With restaurants limited to takeout service or shut down completely by the coronavirus outbreak, a drive has been launched to keep some of Los Angeles’ legendary eateries from fading away.
Known as 1933 Group, the team operates about a dozen themed bars and restaurants in Los Angeles, including the barrel-shaped bar Idle Hour in North Hollywood, Harlowe in West Hollywood, Highland Park Bowl and the Formosa Cafe in West Hollywood.
Many of them have shuttered in recent days amid strict orders implemented by Gov. Gavin Newsom and Mayor Eric Garcetti, aiming to stem the flow of deadly COVID-19.
“We are struggling to survive,” said Dimitri Komarov, the venues’ co-owner. “The impact is dire. We’re losing our […]
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This Just In…
- County Hospitals Receive 300 iPads for Patients to See Family
- Processions to Cedars Will Salute Healthcare Workers on National Nurses Day
- WeHo Webinar: Loneliness, Isolation, Depression, and Anxiety During Pandemic
- Texas & California Wet Markets Show Full Extent of Vile Conditions
- White House Gift Shop Selling Coronavirus Commemorative Coins
- Joe Exotic Prison Has 2nd Highest ‘Rona Rate
- Beverly Hills Votes To Resume Plastic Surgery Despite Coronavirus Pandemic