FORMER POLICE OFFICER CHARGED WITH DEFRAUDING CLIENTS BY STEALING PAYMENT FOR UNPERFORMED, UNLICENSED PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR WORK
OCDA OFFICE PRESS RELEASE
LA TIMES NEWS
OC REGISTER NEWS
*Defendant also charged with conspiracy for soliciting women on Craigslist to commit *** with his dog
SANTA ANA – A former police officer working as an unlicensed private investigator was charged today with defrauding his clients and intimidating his detractors, including threatening to burn down the house of a licensed private investigator. He has also been charged with engaging in a conspiracy to commit the crime of sexual assault of an animal by posting ads on Craigslist to have women engage in *** with his dog.
Kevin Michael Sianez, 53, Fountain Valley, has been charged in a 63-count criminal complaint. His felony charges include 20 counts of grand theft by false pretense, 12 counts of fraudulently using an access card, two counts of second degree commercial burglary, five counts of possession of a firearm by a felon stemming from a 1998 conviction for stalking, four counts of theft with a prior conviction for the same crime in 1999, four counts of obtaining electricity services through false representation, and one count each of identity theft, perjury by declaration, computer access and fraud, and possession of ammunition by a prohibited person.
The misdemeanor charges against Sianez include three counts of conspiracy to commit sexual assault upon an animal, two counts of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime, three counts of obtaining electricity services through false representation, and one count each of criminal threats, unlawful representation as a private investigator, engaging in the business of private investigation, and doing business without a valid license. He faces sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime over $100,000 and property damage over $65,000.
If convicted, Sianez faces a maximum sentence of 38 years in state prison. He was arrested June 24, 2010, by Orange County District Attorney's Office (OCDA) Investigators and is being held on $500,000 bail. He is expected to be arraigned Monday, June 28, 2010, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Circumstances of the Case
The defendant worked as a police officer between 1979 and 1986 for the Santa Ana and Stanton Police Departments. The Stanton Police Department no longer exists.
Between November 2005 and June 2010, Sianez is accused of owning and illegally operating private investigation services without a license under the names KMS Investigations, Fore-Front Investigations, and 4Front Investigations. Business and Professions Code 7523 requires proper licensing through the California Department of Consumer Affairs Bureau of Security and Investigative Services to operate as a private investigator. The defendant is accused of falsely identifying himself as a licensed private investigator.
The defendant is accused of posting false reviews of his various businesses on Internet investigator and referral websites to optimize his search engine presence. He is accused of using these fabricated reviews to mislead potential clients into believing his businesses had nationwide offices and investigators, when in fact he operated out of a small suite in Fountain Valley with less than five employees, who were primarily family members.
Sianez is accused of defrauding clients by performing little or no work on their cases after receiving payment. He is also accused of defrauding properly licensed private investigation firms by subcontracting investigative work to them and failing to pay for their services.
Sianez is accused of attempting to intimidate and dissuade witnesses of his fraudulent activities, including two former employees, by threatening to use his knowledge and contacts as a former police officer to file false police reports against them if they reported his actions to the police or public. He is accused of threatening to burn down the home of a private investigator if she did not remove Internet comments she had posted alerting the public about his fraudulent activity.
The OCDA Bureau of Investigation began investigating this case after receiving a complaint in March 2010, from the California Department of Consumer Affairs. In the course of the fraud investigation, OCDA Investigators discovered additional evidence of a *** conspiracy.
Between October 2009 and January 2010, Sianez is accused of posting ads on Craigslist seeking women to engage in acts of *** with his Labrador Retriever. He is accused of conspiring with several unknown co-conspirators via e-mail to set up meetings in order for the *** to occur.
Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Anthony Sosnowski at (714) 347-8814. Deputy District Attorney Israel Claustro of the Special Assignments Unit is prosecuting the case.
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