|Irvine Police Department Press Release|
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF POLICE
Public Information Office
1 Civic Center Plaza
Irvine, CA 92606
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||PRESS RELEASE #8-15-2014|
|Subject :||Three Arrested For Elaborate Fraud Scheme|
|Contact :||Dave Klug, Lieutenant 949-724-7156|
IRVINE, CA (August 15, 2014): Today, Irvine Police detectives arrested three people in connection to an elaborate fraud scheme that victimized at least thirteen people for over $800,000. Detectives believe Steven Sears (59) of Irvine led an elaborate scheme of promising to help victims protect their assets by purchasing corporations, which Sears fraudulently created. Irvine Police detectives began investigating the case in 2012. Sears allegedly started fraudulent corporations in California, Delaware, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming and sold them to his victims to protect their assets. Detectives believe these corporations were also used by Sears to open bank accounts to launder money. Sears appears to have used aliases to hide his identity and told some victims he was an attorney after being disbarred in 2011.
Mikael Sears (56) of Irvine, and Norma Hoskins (57) of Garden Grove were also arrested for assisting Steven Sears with the fraudulent activities. All of the individuals have been booked into the Orange County Jail in lieu of $800,000 bail.
The arrest of Sears comes after months of investigation into building code violations and disruptive activities at his home at 21 Chester in Irvine. Irvine Code Enforcement officials recently obtained a court order requiring Sears to bring the property into compliance with safety regulations, which were brought to their attention by neighbors and the Irvine Police Department.
Anyone with additional information related to this case is encouraged to Contact Irvine Police Detective Partida at (949) 724-7180.
IRVINE POLICE DEPARTMENT
One Civic Center Plaza, Irvine, CA 92606
(949) 724-7000 www.irvinepd.org
"Working In Partnership with the Community"
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Since its incorporation in 1971, Irvine has become a nationally recognized city, with a population of 242,651, spans 66 square miles and is recognized as one of America’s safest and most successful master-planned urban communities. Top-rated educational institutions, an enterprising business atmosphere, sound environmental stewardship, and respect for diversity all contribute to Irvine’s enviable quality of life. This family-friendly city features more than 16,000 acres of parks, sports fields and dedicated open space and is the home of the Orange County Great Park – the first great metropolitan park of the 21st century. For more information, please visit cityofirvine.org.