Bizarro Universe Cont'd: Downey cardealer gets 12 yrs


Voodoo effigy of Eugene Hanrahan, an L.A. County deputy district attorney investigating the case.

One entertaining aspect of any economic downturn seems to be the crazy bizarre stories of what people do when they are caught in the vortex of a personal economic whirlpool. The LA Times reports on a story just too “out there” not to post. From “Downey Car Dealer Gets 12 years”:

A Downey used-car dealer who allegedly used voodoo-like dolls targeting the prosecutor and investigators was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison for a multimillion-dollar house-buying fraud scheme.

Ruben Hernandez was accused in 2008 in a series of house purchases using fake Social Security numbers and fake bank statements that defrauded banks of about $4 million.

How can you resist any story that starts off with all of that? The rest of the article is more than worth the read. It gets better. They found skeletons and much more:

The U.S. Marshals Service took Hernandez into custody in February 2009 after he became involved in a high-speed chase. A search of his Pasadena home uncovered some unexpected items, authorities said.

“Investigators went into one of the bedrooms, and it was a shrine with a cross and all kinds of skeletons and stuff,” said Eugene Hanrahan, an L.A. County deputy district attorney.

“The star attractions were these three effigy dolls dunked upside down in this brown liquid,” he said. “One of them had my name, and the other two had the names of investigators.”

Each doll had pins in its eyes, he said, and attached to the dolls was the criminal case number.

“Even the U.S. marshals were spooked,” he said. Officials decided to look into the background of the shrine, with the help of a UCLA professor.

The coup de grace? Only one judge could be overseeing this circus and you guessed it…Judge Lance Ito.

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