MAN CHARGED WITH $2.4 MILLION EMBEZZLEMENT AND MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME INVOLVING FRAUDULENT SALE OF COMMERCIAL BAKERY EQUIPMENT

For Immediate Release
Case # 12CF3426






November 29, 2012

Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

MAN CHARGED WITH $2.4 MILLION EMBEZZLEMENT AND MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME INVOLVING FRAUDULENT SALE OF COMMERCIAL BAKERY EQUIPMENT

 

SANTA ANA – A man was arrested today by the Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) Office for a $2.4 million embezzlement and money laundering scheme involving the fraudulent purchase of a commercial bakery and sale of bakery equipment. Mehrdad Shah Mohammad Tabrizi, 54, Aliso Viejo, is charged with one felony count of grand theft, three felony counts of using untrue statements in the purchase/sale of a security, and 11 felony counts of money laundering with sentencing enhancements and allegations for property damage over $1.3 million, aggravated white collar crime over $500,000, and causing over $100,000 in loss. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in state prison. Tabrizi is being held on $2.4 million bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. He is expected to be arraigned tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

 

In 2008, Tabrizi is accused of entering into an agreement to purchase Coast To Coast Bakeries, Inc., a Santa Ana commercial bakery that supplies baked goods to retail establishments. He is accused of agreeing to pay $25,000 per month toward the $2.4 million purchase price as well as $30,000 per month for the building and land lease. The $2.4 million purchase price included $2.1 million in bakery equipment. Tabrizi is accused of agreeing to maintain all of the bakery equipment until the $2.4 million was paid in full.

 

Immediately after entering into the purchase agreement, Tabrizi is accused of defaulting on both the purchase payments and lease payments. He is accused of fraudulently accessing Coast to Coast’s $85,000 line of credit without authorization, canceling all existing contracts with the retail establishments, and terminating Coast to Coast employees. Tabrizi is accused of fraudulently selling or damaging beyond repair all of the bakery equipment, worth $2.1 million. The original owner of Coast to Coast sued Tabrizi in June 2009 to regain possession of the bakery.

 

Between June and August 2009, Tabrizi is accused of meeting with three separate investors under the pretense of being the outright owner of Coast to Coast and all of the $2.1 million in bakery equipment. He is accused of offering the investors investment contracts and failing to disclose that he had multiple civil judgments against him and was in default for the purchase of the bakery and on his lease. Tabrizi is accused of taking $300,000 from the investors and providing them with promissory notes and checks dated three months in the future in the amount of their original investments plus 20 percent as a return on their investment. The defendant is accused of spending the money and never returning it to the victims.

 

In February 2010, the original owner of Coast to Coast regained possession and discovered that the bakery equipment had been sold or damaged beyond repair. The case was reported by one of the victims to a private investigator, who brought the case to the OCDA. The OCDA investigated this case and arrested Tabrizi today, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012.

 

Senior Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.

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