Arrests End Scam Preying on Creditors, Police Say
An organization that may have defrauded 1,000 businesses nationwide out of merchandise worth more than $2.5 million has been put out of operation by the arrest of its ringleader and five associates, authorities said Friday.
George Scordel, 50, of Arcadia allegedly ran two Los Angeles companies, J & S Enterprises and Sunfair Enterprises, which bought and sold goods as part of a “bust-out” scheme where creditors are left unpaid, Assistant Chief Barry Wade of the Los Angeles Police Department said at a press conference at police headquarters.
‘Haven’t Paid for Any of It’
“We have records to show that they have received over $2.5 million in merchandise in the last six months and have sold that merchandise for about $850,000,” Wade said. “We also have records to show . . . that they haven’t paid for any of it.
“We have identified at this time at least 40 victims throughout the United States. We believe that there may be as many as another 1,000 companies and manufacturers throughout the country that have been victimized by this particular organization.”
Authorities are seeking “to identify as many victims as we can,” Wade said, calling on anyone who may have been victimized to contact police.
Scordel, booked on suspicion of grand theft and conspiracy to commit grand theft, was in police custody Friday on $500,000 bail. Booked on the same charges, with bail set at $1,500 each, were five Los Angeles men: Laslo Pollack, 58; Nicholas Koos, 46; Jesse Khol, 52; Mashian (Moshe) Bacsihan, 52, and Robert Molnar, 48. Two Sunfair employees, whose names were not released, were booked for outstanding warrants on unrelated charges.
The arrests were made Thursday when police and sheriff’s detectives, working with investigators from the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office in the culmination of a two-month investigation, served search warrants at 23 businesses and residences in the county.
The Sunfair warehouse in El Monte contained “anything from chewing gum to blankets,” Wade said. “It looked like a retail discount store. It had everything that you can possibly imagine--pots and pans, small appliances.”
Authorities estimated the retail value of the property at $750,000. Officers also seized 20 guns in the raids, including a semi-automatic Colt AR-15 assault rifle, Wade said.