Santa Monica News
Financial Aid Consultant Charged With Murder
By Irena Taylor and LaDale Anderson
Jul 31, 2014 - 3:55:28 AM

Daniel Edward Beceril II. Photo courtesy of the SMPD.
SANTA MONICA—On July 23, Orange County financial consultant Daniel Gilbert Becerril II, 37, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the murder of Los Angeles elementary school teacher, Alexander Merman, 35.


“Becerril stole about $315,000 in inherited annuity funds from Merman after the victim had loaned him $250,000 to aid Becerril’s ailing business. Becerril then transferred the stolen funds among several bank accounts in order to hide the money,” states a press release from the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.


Becerrill was the owner of a company known as AP Financial Group in Huntington Beach, California.


In 2008, the Santa Monica Police Department responded to a call on March 18 at 8:00 p.m. made by Merman's apartment manager, who had received a call from Merman's mother about her son's well-being after being unable to contact him for several days. When the police arrived at Merman's apartment on the 500 block of Montana Avenue, they found Merman stabbed multiple times.


The SMPD worked nearly four years investigating the case, Becerril was taken into custody by authorities on March 1, 2012. His wife Sandra Becerril was also arrested on multiple counts of forgery and grand theft.


The suspect fatally stabbed Merman at his Santa Monica apartment. Despite the lack of forensic evidence at the murder scene, Becerril was linked to the crime through cell phone evidence and various financial documents. A second victim lost more than $127,000 from the suspect because of the real estate scam.


Becerril pled no contest to one count of voluntary manslaughter, one count of money laundering, and five counts of theft.

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