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NEWS IN BRIEF: A summary of developments across Los
Angeles County | Community News File / Long Beach

Authorities Seize Supplies in Probe of Fraud Ring

October 09, 1998

Sheriff's detectives on Thursday seized $1.5 million worth of restaurant supplies from a Long Beach warehouse after a three-month investigation into a fraud ring that allegedly ordered the items and didn't pay for them, authorities said.

Detectives from the Los Angeles and Tulare sheriff's departments searched the warehouse on Artesia Boulevard about 10:30 a.m. and immediately detained eight people inside, Los Angeles Sheriff's Deputy Michael Irving said. The ring leaders are still at large, Irving said. As of late Thursday, five people had been released.

Under the alleged scheme, ring members started businesses or began working for established ones and built up trust with creditors and suppliers, Irving said. Then they ordered huge shipments of supplies, moved them to secret locations and sold them on the black market without ever paying for them, he said.

Similar incidents in Tulare County led to its Sheriff's Department becoming involved, Irving said.

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