SHERMAN OAKS (CBSLA.com) — A wealthy businessman who appeared on Bravo’s hit “Millionaire Matchmaker,” was arrested Thursday morning at his Sherman Oaks home accused of raping several women.
CBS2’s Peter Daut was there when the early-morning arrest went down.
It’s a story that is Only On 2.
The arrest started with police in Sherman Oaks breaking down Michael Leslie Bernback’s security gate and front door.
When he was arrested, Bernback was barefoot and wearing only a robe.
Authorities accuse the 62-year-old of raping at least three women — all in their 20s — inside his home.
When he went on “Millionaire” in 2011, he told matchmaker Patti Stanger that his net worth was “north of $8 million.” He also boasted about owning ten homes. “I can afford whatever it is I want,” he said.
Stanger tried to find the Brooklyn-born Bernback what she called an age-appropriate match but the millionaire said he only had eyes for young women.
She asked him, how young was young. He replied that he wanted somebody “that can have children still.”
On his website, Bernback boasts of relationships with rich and famous people and says he was one of the original co-creators of the Chippendales male dance troupe. (For the record, despite Bernback’s claims, one of the original founders of Chippendales told CBS2/KCAL9 on Thursday he’s “never” heard of Bernback.)
Bernback is also a songwriter/musician and owns a golf pro shop in Encino. On his website, two albums of his “greatest hits” are also available.
After the arrest, Daut said police seached his house and removed computers and several bags of evidence.
Officials told Daut that Bernback met each of his alleged victims online.
Neighbors, who did not want to show their faces, say they are always seeing Bernback with women.
“It’s generally two girls a night. It’s probably three or four nights a week, and I was waiting for it to implode,” said one woman.
Police also searched Bernback’s business, the Encino Balboa Golf Courses.
Authorities told Daut Bernback has a criminal record including drug possession and battery but the recent charges, of course, are the most serious.
Police are concerned there could be more possible victims and urge any of them to come forward. Police asked anyone with additional information to call the LAPD Van Nuys Community Police Station at (818) 374-9500.