February 26, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Two Brothers Convicted In Santa Monica Vacation-Rental Scam:

Two brothers based in the San Fernando Valley have been being convicted for participation in a Santa Monica vacation-rental scam.

Eran “Ron” Shabtay, 43, and his brother Yerev “Reeve” Shabtay, 42, pled guilty to four criminal counts each, including false advertising and illegal tenant lockout, as part of an agreement with prosecutors.

The pair were convicted of misleading consumers in a vacation rental scam involving two Santa Monica properties which they owned and rented out to tourists on a short-term basis.

The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges against the Shabtays in November 2012 after receiving complaints from more than a dozen consumers who came to visit Santa Monica from as far away as Norway and Australia.

The defendants owned and operated two rental properties, one on Second Street and the other on Pacific Street. They advertised on the websites Vrbo.com and Homeaway.com.

Consumers paid in full for their vacation rentals by credit card, months in advance, some paying as much as $5,000. According to consumers’ complaints:

– Many never got access to the property after arriving in town.

– Others’ credit cards were charged more than the agreed amounts.

– Many arrived in Santa Monica only to discover that the actual rental property was far smaller than advertised, and in terrible condition.

– Some were double-booked with other customers for the same property on the same dates.

– The Shabtays refused to return customers’ calls and emails, and wouldn’t refund their money.

Under the terms of the convictions:

1. The Shabtays each must perform between 80 and 104 hours of hard labor;

2. Each must perform 100 hours of community service;

3. They must pay a total of $23,485.73 to complete the refunds to all customers in the case who have not already gotten credit card reversals;

4. They must pay $30,000.00 to the City of Santa Monica’s Consumer Protection Fund;

5. Both defendants are placed on four years’ probation; and

6. They are prohibited from doing any more short-term rentals in Los Angeles County.

The Shabtays entered their pleas in the LAX courthouse of the Los Angeles County Superior Court on Sept. 18, 2013.

“False advertising is a serious crime,” said Deputy City Attorney Adam Radinsky. “It cheats consumers and it gives dishonest businesses an unfair advantage over honest ones. Consumers need to know that they can trust what is promised to them, including online ads. Also, it’s illegal in Santa Monica to rent out any residential property on a short-term basis.”

Radinsky said short-term basis is defined as less than 30 days.

in News
Related Posts

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Calls Special Board of Education Meeting

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

SMMUSD Gathers to Address Time-Sensitive Resolutions In a press release sent on Saturday, February 24, The Santa Monica-Malibu School District...

 39th Independent Spirit Awards Celebrates Independent Cinema in Santa Monica

February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

Santa Monica Pier Hosts Annual Awards Ceremony Amid Pro-Palestinian Protest The 39th Independent Spirit Awards ceremony, another precursor to the...

U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Consider Landlords’ Challenge to Rent-Control Laws

February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

New York Landlords’ Bid to Challenge Rent-Control Laws Fails The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a significant property rights...

Ocean Park Triplex Hits Market Again After 36 Years at $1.6M

February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

The property presents an enticing opportunity for owner-users or developers For the first time in over 36 years, this triplex,...

Cher Drops Price of Her Seven-Bedroom Malibu Mansion by $10M

February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

The legendary singer bought the parcel for $2.95 million over 30 years ago By Zach Armstrong Music icon Cher has...

(Video) Baltaire’s DJ Brunch is Ready to Make Your Weekend Fabulous

February 23, 2024

February 23, 2024

Baltaire is America’s Favorite Neighborhood Steakhouse. A Contemporary Restaurant in Brentwood With Classic Genes, Baltaire Is Where to Enjoy Brunch...

During Lean Times for the City, Certain Staff Members Slated to Get Hefty Raises

February 23, 2024

February 23, 2024

Proposed Equity Adjustments Raise Questions Amid Budgetary Concerns The next Santa Monica City Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday,...

Blue Bus Seeks Input on How to Improve Service

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

Through Brighter Blue, Big Blue Bus Aims to Develop a Strategic Plan for Implementing System Enhancements Over Five Years Santa...

Amid Delays, House of Pies Sets New Opening Date for Venice Spot

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

For About a Year, the Development’s Construction Has Seemingly Been Inactive By Zach Armstrong House of Pies, a popular L.A....

(Video) Russian River’s Pliny the Younger 2024 at Father’s Office in Culver City

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

Russian River’s Pliny the Younger 2024  at Father’s Office in Culver City. The ticket got you two pours of the...

Culinary Bliss Awaits: Los Angeles Wine & Food Festival Debuts in Santa Monica

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Santa Monica Pier Welcomes the Inaugural Los Angeles Wine & Food Festival Santa Monica is set to become the birthplace...

Indulge Your Cookie Cravings and Support Local Scouts: Girl Scout Cookie® Sales Now Open

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Multiple Ways to Purchase Iconic Cookies and Make a Difference You can satisfy your Girl Scout Cookie® cravings this season...

Popular Coffee & Tea Franchise Opens Another Santa Monica Spot

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

The News Comes Four Months After the Announcement of Its Third Santa Monica Outpost By Zach Armstrong Coffee Bean &...

Bruce Lurie Gallery Unveils “Give Us Our Flowers” Exhibition

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Philoche’s painting style incorporates vintage subjects to convey a tribute to the resilience of human spirit.  Bruce Lurie Gallery presents...

Portraiture Masterclass with Renowned Photographer Coming to Venice Beach

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Participants will explore the boardwalk alongside Alan, honing their creativity and engaging with the local community. Renowned photographer Alan Shapiro...