Sheriff’s deputies Wednesday arrested five operators of a South Los Angeles rental agency who allegedly bilked hundreds of people who paid them as much as $800 each to help find apartments.
The men operated the El Centro Credit Network in the 1800 block of Florence Avenue for about six months until July 27, authorities said. The company’s advertisements in the Spanish-language newspaper La Opinion promised to help clients find low-cost housing for fees ranging from $100 to $800. Instead, authorities say, the agency provided lists of nonexistent addresses and apartments that were already occupied.
The company has since moved to Hawthorne operating as the South Bay Credit Network, authorities said.
The suspects--identified as Jose Gonzales, 31, and Edward Peteja, 26, both of Redondo Beach; Leon Mooers, 27, of Norwalk; Disan Aramburo, 19, of Walnut Park, and Everado Miranda, 18, of Downey--were expected to be arraigned before the week is out on charges of grand theft, fraud and conspiracy.