New Charges in Rent Scam Case

Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Frank Giardot
Pasadena Star News

The District Attorney's Office added 29 more charges Wednesday to its case against a Covina man accused of using Craigslist and eBay to scam renters and potential investors.

Prosecutors accuse Pardeep Singh, 30, of defrauding 22 potential renters of $2,400 each. Wednesday's filing follows a seven-count criminal complaint brought against Singh last week. He remains at large.

Two of the counts in the amended complaint involve the suspected theft of $185,000 from Kenneth Yandoli, a Glendale man.

"I hope something comes of it," said Jennifer Yandoli, who along with her husband loaned Singh $100,000 in September in exchange for a trust deed on Singh's Covina home at 5441 N. Calera Ave., according to public records.

The couple said they loaned Singh an additional $85,000 about three weeks ago as part of an investment in a Pasadena apartment building.

"I'm afraid that at this point he's long gone," she added.

A third new count involves the theft of $2,759 from two men who won an eBay auction for a Las Vegas timeshare. The men were identified as Dennis Dykes, of Texas, and Reynaldo De Rivera, of La Verne.

"The additional charges were filed (Wednesday) in West Covina," said Shiara M. Davila, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office. "This was a massive scam allegedly orchestrated by Singh."

The complete complaint alleges 36 counts of grand theft and special allegations. If convicted on all counts Singh could be sentenced to more than 100 years in state prison.

Singh's various alleged schemes began to unravel late last month when a Calera Avenue neighbor posted a warning on Craigslist about a rental scam.

Authorities believe Singh offered the house for rent at $1,200 per month and asked potential renters for first and last month's rent - or a total of $2,400. Prosecutors suspect he took the $2,400 from 33 different families.

At least one family showed up at the home on the first of the month in a U-Haul truck loaded with their possessions.

According to public documents, Singh had already taken a second mortgage on the house through Decision One Mortgage and leveraged the $100,000 loan from Yandoli with a trust deed. About the same time he started a limited liability company called East Wind Financial.

Documents on file with the California Secretary of State's Office indicate Singh set up East Wind in September.

The corporate address listed on the state Web site is the same Covina home Singh leveraged in the Yandoli lien, the second mortgage and the apparent lease scam, according to authorities and public records.

Once his corporation was established, Singh, under the username "mforcex91801," began targeting real estate investors through eBay auctions, Yandoli said.

The March auction for a Las Vegas timeshare at Tahiti Villages apparently won by either De Rivera or Dykes promised a chance to own an "annual deeded property at a bargain price."

In that instance, the winning bidder ultimately paid $1,370 for the deed. The auction closed at 2:48 p.m. March 25, according to eBay records.

A phone number listed at the bottom of the auction is registered to Singh, according to public records.

FAIR USE NOTICE. This document may contain copyrighted material the use of which may not have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Tenants Together is making this article available on our website in an effort to advance the understanding of tenant rights issues in California. We believe that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


Help build power for renters' rights: