Owners of 33 Apartments in Ocean Towers Indicted For Allegedly Embezzling Funds From Ocean Towers HOA
John Spahi is in jail on $1 million bond, while his case is pending. With his son Omar, they allegedly controlled about 33 units and misappropriated HOA funds.
May 19, 2023
5.5.23: John Spahi, 70 and his son, Omar Spahi, have been arrested after a grand jury indicted them for converting HOA funds to their personal use.
Ocean Towers is the only Cooperative apartment building in Santa Monica.
For years, residents have alleged that the Spahis dominated the board of Directors of the HOA, and improperly used HOA funds for personal uses. Also indicted were Joe and Dorothy Orlando, who managed the building.
The complaint alleges that the Spahis owned or controlled 33 of the 306 units in the Ocean Towers at the West end of San Vicente in Santa Monica. It alleges that the defendant's converted HOA funds to personal use.
“(On May 1), former ocean towers board member John Spahi, his son Omar Spahi, and the former president of Ocean Towers, Joe Orlando, and former manager of ocean towers, his wife Dorothy Orlando, were all indicted by a grand jury on over 100 felony charges stemming from their embezzlement of millions of dollars of HOA monies," wrote a resident of the towers, who asked not to be identified.
"It's alleged that they stole over $5 million dollars from the HOA (and realistically, significantly more). The case is being prosecuted by the DOJ's office and attorneys Sterling Winchester and Joshua Lee are the lead attorney general prosecutors.
John Spahi is currently in LA County Men’s Central jail on a million dollar bail and returns to court on Tuesday morning in Dept. 100 at the downtown Criminal Courts building (presumably to forfeit his passports - he has two, and to request a reduction in bail).
All four defendants are accused of felony grand theft, felony money laundering, and felony identity theft. They face over 90 years in prison.
The case number is BA498477. John Spahi remains in LA County men’s central jail with a $1 million bail not yet posted. Omar Spahi has been released after posting $500,000 bond.