A deaf man from Los Angeles is accused of orchestrating a "confidence scheme" to swindle three other deaf people out of nearly half a million dollars, leading to his arrest and a search for more possible victims, police said Thursday.
A victim came forward to police last week claiming Hussein Ibrahaim Dheini had borrowed money for a business venture but never paid it back, and pressured him for even more cash, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a news release.
Two additional victims came forward with similar stories about Dheini, though the sum of their losses was smaller than the first victim's, police said.
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LAPD Det. Tracey Angeles said in the release that Dheini, who is fluent in American Sign Language, "preyed on fellow deaf persons" by taking "advantage of their trust and goodwill" to scam them out of almost half a million dollars.
Dheini, 37, was arrested Wednesday when detectives served a search warrant at his home in the 9400 block of Corbin Avenue in Northridge. He was booked on a robbery charge because he allegedly put the first victim under duress and fear.
His bail was set at $50,000.
According to police, Dheini is a Lebanese national in the U.S. on an expired student visa.
Police ask potential victims or anyone else with information to call LAPD robbery detectives at 818-374-7740.