May 15, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica Vacation Rental Scam: Three LA Residents To Face Criminal Charges:

Three Los Angeles residents are scheduled to be arraigned in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Dec. 11 on criminal charges for bilking consumers as part of a vacation rental scam at a Santa Monica rental property near Second Street and Ocean Park Boulevard.

The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office filed the 18-count criminal complaint Thursday against Eran Shabtay, Ann Dora Shabtay, and Stacy Gale Shabtay (also known as Gale Byers and Stacy Gale Byers).

The defendants are alleged to have owned and operated the vacation rental property, which they advertised on the websites vrbo.com and homeaway.com.

Santa Monica Deputy City Attorney Adam Radinsky said consumers alleged that their credit cards were charged multiple times for the same stay, and in higher amounts than agreed; that the property had nowhere near the size, amenities, or quality that was advertised online; and that they were sometimes double-booked with other customers on the same day.

“The criminal charges include grand theft by false pretenses, unauthorized charging of credit cards, false advertising, and operating without a business license,” Radinsky said.

The defendants are alleged to have operated under a number of different business names, including: MMM Properties, Stone Edge Properties, and West Coast Realty Group.

Each of the charged offenses is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of one year in County Jail and a base fine of up to $2,500.

The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office is continuing to investigate the case.

Consumers who have lost money to these businesses or individuals should immediately contact the City Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit at 310.458.8336 or smconsumer.org.

in News
Related Posts

Vice Media Co-Founder Sells Santa Monica Canyon Estate for Record Price

May 14, 2021

May 14, 2021

Shane Smith sells Channel Road estate for nearly $50 million  By Chad Winthrop The co-founder of Vice Media has sold...

Construction Underway for Mixed-use Lincoln Boulevard Development

May 14, 2021

May 14, 2021

47 units with retail under construction  By Sam Catanzaro Construction is underway for a four-story mixed-use development spanning a whole...

Santa Monica Fire Chief Bill Walker to Leave Department for Texas

May 13, 2021

May 13, 2021

Chief moving to Texas to head up new position, be closer to family  By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica’s fire chief...

Suspect Sought in Attack on Elderly Asian Man on Third Street Promenade

May 13, 2021

May 13, 2021

Santa Monica police looking for suspect in May 1 Third Street Promenade battery  By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica police are...

Ben & Jerry’s Closes Santa Monica Shop

May 13, 2021

May 13, 2021

First West Coast Ben & Jerry’s closes up shop on Main Street  By Kerry Slater Ben & Jerry’s has closed...

SMMUSD’s Music Education Program Receives National Recognition

May 11, 2021

May 11, 2021

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District honored with the “Best Communities for Music Education” designation For the 19th straight year, the...

Edify TV: A Look Into the Cold War-Era as Wende Museum Reopens

May 11, 2021

May 11, 2021

With relics of the Cold War-era on display, the Wende Museum in Culver City has reopened for in-person visits. Learn...

Convicted Arsonist Making Fire Pits in Palisades Bluffs

May 10, 2021

May 10, 2021

Homeless man named Hilton making fire pits in fire-prone hillside area By Sam Catanzaro   A convicted arsonist continues to make...

Rapper Saweetie Gives Surprise Performance On The Pier: Santa Monica Beat – May, 10, 2021

May 10, 2021

May 10, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Rapper Saweetie Gives Surprise Performance On The Pier * Santa Monica...

Head-on Crash on PCH in Santa Monica Results in Serious Injuries

May 10, 2021

May 10, 2021

Traffic collision occurs on Pacific Coast Highway near California Incline Monday afternoon By Sam Catanzaro Two people were extricated from...

Developers Looking to Replace Century-Old Santa Monica Houses with Mixed-Use Development

May 10, 2021

May 10, 2021

Two houses would make away for three story, 10 unit development By Toi Creel Two Santa Monica homes, both around...

Free LA Metro Rides Could Begin This Summer

May 7, 2021

May 7, 2021

Metro looking at late Summer Launching For fareless transit pilot program By Toi Creel K-12 students and low-income residents could...

Santa Monica High Named Among Top 1,000 High Schools in the Country

May 7, 2021

May 7, 2021

By Toi Creel Samohi has been named one of the best high schools in the country.  According to a recent...