Southern California Woman Arrested in Housing Scam, Authorities Say

Southern California Woman Arrested in Housing Scam, Authorities Say
An affordable housing apartment complex stands in Chinatown, Los Angeles, on June 26, 2014. (Sarah Le/The Epoch Times)
City News Service
Updated:
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GLENDALE, Calif.—A North Hollywood woman was in custody July 9 for her alleged involvement in a series of scams targeting people seeking affordable housing in Glendale of Los Angeles County, authorities said Tuesday.

“In April 2024, staff of the Glendale Housing Authority and the Glendale Police Department learned of a fraud scheme where Sima Karapetyan, age 47 of North Hollywood, approached elderly people at public aid offices and local non-profit support agencies while falsely presenting herself as an employee of the Glendale Housing Authority,” Stephanie Mikhlian, of the city of Glendale, said in a statement.

“She gained their trust and promised the victims access to low-income housing units and improved status on the Section 8 Housing Voucher waiting list in exchange for cash payments,” Ms. Mikhlian said.

Ms. Karapetyan allegedly also used social media sources to attract victims, according to the city official.

“During the course of the investigation, it was determined that Karapetyan took money from at least 11 victims since 2021,” Ms. Mikhlian said.

Ms. Karapetyan was arrested on May 23 and arraigned in Los Angeles County Superior Court on seven counts of theft by false pretense and four counts of elder abuse. She remains in custody on $450,000 bail, according to Ms. Mikhlian.

“The City of Glendale and Glendale Housing Authority actively pursue allegations of fraud,” Mr. Mikhlian said. “If you are approached by someone promising low-income housing assistance in any way in exchange for money, please ignore the request and report the activity to the Glendale Housing Fraud Hotline, 818-548-6442, or via email at [email protected].”

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