Case # 12HF3560
Date: June 29, 2015
MAN SENTENCED TO 13 YEARS IN PRISON FOR $2 MILLION
CAR EMBEZZLEMENT SCHEME INVOLVING LAMBORGHINIS,
FERRARIS, AND ROLLS ROYCES
SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced today to 13 years in state prison for embezzling over $2 million from unsuspecting customers looking to buy or sell Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Rolls Royces, and other high-end vehicles from the defendant’s dealership in Costa Mesa. Farhad Ebadat, 39, Huntington Beach, pleaded guilty today to 16 felony counts of embezzlement by fiduciary of trust, 13 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. The defendant was also ordered to pay $2,078,167.48 in restitution.
From 2009 to 2012, Ebadat owned and operated Costa Mesa Bellagio Motors, a car dealership that specialized in buying and selling high-end luxury vehicles from Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lexus, Lotus, Maserati, Porsche, and Rolls Royce. During this time, Ebadat defrauded victims who wanted 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 sold cars worth $25,000 to $225,000 on consignment and then diverted the payments he received to his own personal accounts. Ebadat defrauded 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 did not deliver some of the purchased vehicles to customers.
Costa Mesa Police Department began investigating the case and turned it over to Orange County Auto Theft Task Force (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 Sheriff’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 abruptly closed his business, vacated the premises, and moved from his home in Huntington Beach to a rental home in Bermuda Dunes. Ebadat then emptied his bank accounts by transferring his funds to various other bank accounts.
This case was investigated by OCATT with forensics assistance from the Newport Beach Police Department. Senior Deputy District Attorney Dan Hess of OCATT prosecuted this case.