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Victims' Religion in Alleged Real Estate Swindles

March 14, 1993

I wish to thank The Times and Jeff Kramer for the March 4 article headlined "Alleged Fraud Rocks Iranian Community." You have brought to the attention of the public the plight of my good friend and former neighbor Houshang Farahmandian, and of his great financial loss and his loss of trust due to the alleged criminal activities of his cousin Emanuel Sabet. You have done a great service not only to Mr. Farahmandian and the others named in the article, but also to those unsuspecting individuals who might have placed their trust and finances in the hands of Emanuel Sabet and his mortgage company.

I don't know Mr. Sabet personally and have had no dealings of any kind with him. I do know Houshang Farahmandian to be a gentleman of outstanding character and integrity who didn't expect or deserve the treatment he allegedly received from this cousin, in whom he had complete trust. In the past few months, Mr. Farahmandian has told me of his losses and of his appeals to law enforcement agencies and the court, only to receive nothing but disappointment in return. Last fall the Los Angeles Times published an article on other real estate swindles, and I telephoned Mr. Farahmandian and suggested he seek your aid in his search for justice. He did, and Thursday's article is the result of this plea for help.

Mr. Farahmandian has informed me that as a result of your great assistance to him and the others named, the local Iranian media have picked up the story and given it full and extensive coverage.

As written in the article, "In this country you can be jailed for stealing a bottle of beer, but you can't go to jail for stealing millions of dollars." Surely something can be done to correct this disgraceful situation, and I feel the Los Angeles Times has started the ball rolling in that direction by this and last fall's exposures.

MURL M. SCHULL

Los Angeles

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