Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Two Charged in Contractor Scam Targeting Elderly

 

An unlicensed pest exterminator and an unlicensed air-quality contractor have been charged with working together to scam elderly victims throughout the Los Angeles area, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced today.

Deputy District Attorney Michelle Dodd of the Elder Abuse Division said Eldad Syton (dob 7/4/81) and Yair Zilberman (dob 10/25/83) collectively face more than 40 counts in case LA078163.

Arraignment is scheduled this morning in Department 100 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Van Nuys Branch.

The defendants are charged together with two counts each of theft from elder and nine counts each of first-degree burglary, person present.

Syton is charged with an additional 16 counts: six counts of theft from elder; six counts of first-degree burglary, person present; three counts of grand theft of real property; and one misdemeanor count of theft from elder.

Zilberman faces 17 additional counts: six counts of first-degree burglary, person present; six counts of forgery; four counts of theft from elder; and one count of identity theft.

Between 2012 and 2014, Syton would enter into contracts for pest extermination at the homes of elderly clients for a set fee but would then claim they had mold, termites or other problems and enter into a new contract for large amounts of money for work never performed, the prosecutor said.

Similarly, Zilberman, who advertised for air-duct cleaning services, would purportedly convince elderly victims of other home-related issues and charge them thousands of dollars for work that was never done.

Zilberman also opened a line of credit without permission on behalf of one victim and forged several of the victim's checks, the prosecutor added.

The losses to the elderly victims defrauded by the two defendants totaled close to $500,000, the prosecutor added.

If convicted as charged Syton faces a 36-year prison term while Zilberman faces 36 years and four months.

Bail for Syton has been set at $1.37 million and $1.275 million for Zilberman.

The case is being investigated by multiple agencies including the California Department of Consumer Affairs, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Burbank Police Department, the Whittier Police Department and the Santa Monica Police Department.

 

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