Unlicensed Locksmith Enters No Contest Plea
SAN BRUNO, Calif., Aug. 30, 2007 - KGO (KGO) -- An unlicensed locksmith who's been the subject of a 7 On Your Side investigation has entered a no contest plea to a charge of identity theft. It's a case 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney has been investigating for months.
As part of that plea, Moshe Mizrachi now faces up to 6 months in the county jail. Prosecutors had hoped to get up to one year. However, our sources tells us this investigation remains open.
San Bruno police arrested 29-year-old Moshe Mizrachi in June as part of an undercover sting.
Prosecutors say he bilked this 86-year old woman out of $1,500 dollars to change one lock.
"He was using a deceased locksmith's name and business, because the police made contact with the deceased business man's widow. She said, 'No he's dead. This is all up.' They stole the ID of the business," Steve Wagstaffe from the San Mateo County District Attorney said.
As part of the plea, charges of elderly abuse, grand theft and fraud were dropped. Mizrachi will also be asked to make restitution to his victim.
"Certainly restitution is going to be one of the orders. It's required by law. It will be imposed here," Wagstaffe said.
He remains under investigation in San Francisco, where he's accused of charging this man $5,000 dollars to change his lock.
Mizrachi's boss has been identified in open court as Idan Finkelstein. A woman says Finkelstein charged her $500 dollars to change her lock.
Her son Kevin came home just as Finkelstein was leaving, and he says he's identified Finkelstein in a photo lineup.
"But there was the guy. This was the guy. I said I was 90 percent sure," Kevin Moore, the victim's son said.
Attorney Al Anolik rented this office to Mizrachi and Finkelstein. Phone numbers from around the country lined the wall.
"Idan was trying to brag to me how big they were. that they had offices throughout the United States. This was a major operation and they were just opening up in San Francisco," attorney and landlord Al Anolik said.
The attorney thinks both Mizrachi and Finkelstein should face federal racketeering charges. Mizrachi is scheduled to be sentenced on September 26. Immigration officials also confirmed today that Mizrachi faces deportation.
To read past reports of the locksmith investigation, click here.
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