|For Immediate Release
Case # 12HF3560
December 10, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
MAN CHARGED WITH $3 MILLION CAR EMBEZZLEMENT SCHEME INVOLVING LAMBORGHINIS, FERRARIS, AND ROLLS ROYCES
SANTA ANA – A man will be arraigned today on charges of embezzling over $3 million from unsuspecting customers looking to buy or sell Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Rolls Royce’s, and other high-end vehicles from the defendant’s dealership in Costa Mesa. Farhad Ebadat, 37, Huntington Beach, is charged with 15 felony counts of embezzlement by fiduciary of trust, 15 felony counts of money laundering, and 11 felony counts of grand theft by false pretenses with sentencing enhancements and allegations for aggravated white collar crime over $500,000 and $1.3 million. If convicted, Ebadat faces a maximum sentence of 34 years and eight months in state prison. The defendant is being held on $3 million bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond and is also subject to a no-bail Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold. The defendant was arrested Dec. 3, 2012, by the Orange County Auto Theft Task Force (OCATT). Ebadat is scheduled to be arraigned today, Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.
From 2009 to 2012, the defendant is accused of owning and operating Costa Mesa Bellagio Motors, a car dealership specializing in high-end luxury vehicles including Audi Spider, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lexus, Lotus, Maserati, Porsche, and Rolls Royce. During this time, Ebadat is accused defrauding victims wanting to sell their high-end vehicles by falsely claiming he would sell their cars on consignment, pay the owners and transfer the car titles to the purchasers. The defendant is accused of selling cars worth $25,000 to $225,000 on consignment and then diverting the payments received to his own personal accounts. Ebadat is accused of defrauding innocent buyers who paid for the vehicles in full but were unable to obtain legal car titles because the owners holding the titles had not been paid. The defendant is also accused of not delivering some of the purchased vehicles to customers.
Costa Mesa Police Department began investigating the case and turned it over to OCATT, a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement program that investigates, arrests, and prosecutes professional and career criminals responsible for Orange County vehicle thefts. OCATT is comprised of police departments from the cities of Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Placentia, Tustin, University of California, Irvine, Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Orange County Sherriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, California Department of Corrections and Parole, California Department of Insurance, California Department of Motor Vehicles, Orange County Probation Department, and National Insurance Crime Bureau.
After the investigation of Bellagio Motors began in 2012, the defendant is accused of abruptly closing his business, vacating the premises, and moving from his home in Huntington Beach to a rental home in Bermuda Dunes. Ebadat is accused of emptying his bank accounts and wire-transferring money to accounts in France and Iran.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information or who believes they have been a victim is encouraged to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Anthony Sosnowski at (714) 664-3943, or OCATT detective Rick Henry at (714) 634-1385.
This case was investigated by OCATT with forensics assistance from the Newport Beach Police Department. Deputy District Attorney Renee Jones of OCATT is prosecuting this case.