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Police: Man attempted to extort money from family

An Irvine resident is suspected of extorting the family of a Laguna Beach rug store manager accused of multiple sex crimes, according to Laguna Beach police.

Laguna Beach detectives arrested Javad Mostafavi, 70, Oct. 19 for allegedly extorting the family of Saeid Boustanabadi Maralan, who is accused of assaulting 11 women. Maralan’s most recent charges, which were filed Oct. 21, include two felony counts of sexual battery by restraint, and one misdemeanor count of indecent exposure.

Maralan’s wife reported that Mostafavi threatened the family on multiple occasions that he would print Maralan’s booking photo on the cover of his Irvine-based Persian magazine Payam-e-Ashena if he wasn’t paid $3,000. He emailed her a mock-up of the magazine with his photo on the cover, according to Lt. Jason Kravetz.

She says the threats started Sept. 20, and she reported them to a detective the next day, Kravetz said.

The wife was not hesitant in calling police, he said, and the detective she called was in fact one working on the sexual assault cases involving Maralan.

The wife told police that they had done business with the magazine in the past, such as advertising their rug business in it. She called her husband in jail and asked him if he knew if there was a basis for the threats from Mostafavi, and he responded that they did not owe him money, Kravetz said.

—Joanna Clay