VAN NUYS (CBSLA.com) — Police announced Wednesday that they have arrested two men involved in numerous cases of defrauding older, sick Los Angeles County residents.
Eldad Syton, 32, was taken into custody at his home in the 12000 block of Emelita Street in Valley Village last week, and his accomplice, Yair Zilberman, 30, was arrested Tuesday in a parking lot in Van Nuys, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Detectives from the LAPD’s Van Nuys Division determined that Syton posed as a contractor for pest control, roofing and air duct cleaning firms. He targeted mainly elderly women, charging them thousands of dollars to perform unnecessary work.
KCAL9’s Cristy Fajardo reports Syton would call and send fliers about his so-called services to the victims’ homes. Once inside the residences, he would show the victims images of mold and other hazards he claimed were taken in their ducts or attics.
Zilberman would then join Syton to make the fake repairs, police said.
In one case, authorities said Syton convinced an 84-year-old dementia patient and his wife to seek a reverse mortgage on their home so they could pay him $50,000 on top of $50,000 he had already taken from the couple. Syton would then return to the couple’s home and threaten to foreclose on the property if they did not pay the outstanding balance.
“There were different amounts reported by different victims. One of the victims had given him an excess of $100,000,” Van Nuys Detective Marjan Mobasser said.
Syton claimed to be the owner and operator of 911 Air Care, American Pest Control, American Roof Cleaning, USA Pest Control and Pacific Air Care, authorities said.
Syton and Zilberman have been charged with 42 counts of forgery, burglary and grand theft.
Bail has been set at $1.37 million for Syton, while Zilberman’s bail is $1.25 million.
Police know of about a dozen victims in the Valley and surrounding areas, but believe there could be more.
Anyone with information regarding the scams was asked to call Mobasser at (818) 374-0053.