RESEDA—Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department are asking for the public’s help to locate additional victims who have fallen prey to a confidence scheme targeting the Deaf Community.
“Hussein Ibrahaim Dheini preyed on fellow deaf persons,” said Detective Tracey Angeles, head of LAPD’s West Valley Robbery Table. “Being deaf and fluent in American Sign Language (ASL), he took advantage of their trust and goodwill to steal nearly a half million dollars among three persons, and we think there could be more victims.”
Officials reported that the first victim came forward just 10 days ago, explaining how the suspect extorted money on the pretense of business loans. None of the loans were repaid and Dheini later pressured the victim for additional money, which led to duress and fear. That raised the con to robbery.
According to the LAPD blog, two additional victims have come forward with similar tales, but smaller monetary losses. Detectives served a search warrant on Dheini’s Northridge home on April 20, which is located in the 9400 block of Corbin Avenue. He was arrested on a single charge of robbery. His bail was set at $50,000.
“Con-men, like Dheini, count on victims feeling shame and embarrassment for falling for a scam,” said Det. Angeles. “But we want to encourage any potential victim to come forward and reassure them that their naiveté was merely a sign of their kindness and good nature.”
Dheini, 37, is a Lebanese national, in the USA on an expired student visa. He was provided a Certified ASL Interpreter during all aspects of his contact with authorities. Police are asking the public to seek out advice of trusted family members, friends, or professional financial advisors prior to entering into large money transactions.
Anyone with information is urged to call Detective III Tracey Angeles, West Valley Robbery detectives, at 818-374-7740. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to (877) LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (800-222-8477).
Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.