October 20, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

2008 Montana Avenue Murder Suspect Sentenced To 15 Years Prison:

A Huntington Beach financial consultant was sentenced on Wednesday to 15 years in prison for murdering elementary school teacher Alexander Merman in his apartment in the 500 block of Montana Avenue in 2008 after Merman had uncovered a complex fraud scheme.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Sam Ohta also ordered Daniel Gilbert Becerril II of Huntington Beach to pay about $400,000 in restitution.

Becerril pleaded no contest to one count each of voluntary manslaughter and money laundering and five theft counts in the midst of his trial last week.

The defendant owned a company in Huntington Beach and orchestrated a complex theft and money-laundering scheme that defrauded Merman, a Russian-born Los Angeles elementary school teacher. A second individual was victimized through a real estate scam, prosecutors said.

Becerril stole about $315,000 in inherited annuity funds from Merman after the 35-year-old victim loaned the defendant $250,000 to prop up his ailing business, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Becerril then transferred the stolen funds among several bank accounts to hide the money.

On March 19, 2008, Merman was found stabbed to death inside his apartment in the 500 block of Montana Avenue. He died as a result of multiple stab wounds.

SMPD Sgt. Rudy Camarena said the case initially had no leads, but an intensive investigation by SMPD detectives led them to Becerril who owed Merman more than $550,000.

“The complex investigation revealed Becerril as the head of AP Financial Group in Orange County which was found to be involved in numerous cases of fraud and theft,” Camarena said. “The estimated losses to the victims were in the millions, mostly through pyramid schemes, retirement scams, and mortgage fraud.”

Merman and Becerril were friends and most of the money involved was loaned to Becerril by Merman to help him with his business, Camarena said.

“Becerril promised to pay Merman back but never did,” Camarena said. “When Merman demanded repayment he uncovered Becerril’s scheme. Merman was killed shortly thereafter.”

Camarena said evidence which led to Becerril’s arrest by SMPD Robbery/Homicide Detectives on March 1, 2012 was abstracted from volumes of financial, cellular phone, computer and internet records.

in News
Related Posts

YogaWorks Studios Closing Amid Pandemic: Santa Monica Beat – October, 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * YogaWorks Studios Closing Amid Pandemic * Carjacking Suspects in Custody All...

Edify TV: More Bike Lanes for Westside

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

A Westside city is adding more miles of protected bike lanes. Learn more in this video made possible by Santa...

Outgoing Santa Monica Police Chief Set to Receive Nearly $100K of Severance Pay

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Santa Monica City Council approves retirement agreement for outgoing chief Cynthia Renaud By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica’s outgoing police chief...

Intravenous Vitamin Therapy: A Natural, Effective Solution for the Flu

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

By Dr. Mahboubeh Hashemi, ND and Dr. Matthew Cavaiola, ND  As fall and winter are fast approaching, many people, and...

Edify TV: Deal to House Homeless People Near Freeways

October 18, 2020

October 18, 2020

After months of negotiations, the City and County of LA reached a $300 million deal to house thousands of homeless...

Santa Monica’s Police Chief Retiring

October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020

SMPD Cynthia Renaud announces retirement, to be replaced by former Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica has announced...

Virtual Staging Changing The Way We Sell Property?

October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020

Today on Westside Cribz, Chuck Lorre buys his neighbors home, Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk selling his Santa...

O.C. Man Faces Federal Charges for Allegedly Setting SMPD Car on Fire

October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020

Nathan Wilson, 27, faces up to 20 years in prison An Irvine man was taken into federal custody this week...

Santa Monica Spa Owner Admits Price Gouging in Sale of Scarce N95 Masks

October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

Niki Schwarz, owner of Tikkun Holistic Spa, pleads guilty to federal charges A Santa Monica day spa owner was charged...

Council Challenger Earns Endorsement After Coming Out Against Controversial Project: Santa Monica Beat – October, 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Council Challenger Earns Endorsement After Coming Out Against Controversial Project *...

Edify TV: Penmar Golf Homeless Encampment Update

October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

The City of Los Angeles has taken new action in an effort to deal with a homeless encampment along Penmar...

French Restaurant Reopens in Santa Monica After a Decade

October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

Le Petit Chez Mimi now open on Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica By Kerry Slater A restaurant that was located...

Michelin Reverses Decision for California Guide

October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

Restaurant guide says COVID-19 and wildfires forced decision By Kerry Slater The Michelin Guide has paused the announcement of Stars,...