Econintersect: It seems that if you hire a financial advisor these days you may also need a body guard. Daniel Edward Becerril II, 35, owner of AP Financial Group, based in Huntington Beach, CA is accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Alexander Merman, 35, in 2008. When Merman started demanding his money back it is alleged that Becerrill murdered his client in an attempt to hide the fraud. The fraud scheme is supposed to have centered on Becerril obtaining the proceeds from second mortgages on clients’ homes. It has been reported that some of the clients have ended up losing their homes.
Santa Monica Police Sargent Richard Lewis has stated that victims of the scheme are still coming forward, but there are already millions of dollars involved. Becerril’s wife, sister and a partner in his AP Financial Group have also been arrested.
Here is some information on the case from the Santa Monica Dispatch:
Based on the evidence of fraud uncovered to date, as well as interviews with dozens of potential victims, losses related to Daniel Becerril and AP Financial could be in the millions of dollars. Anyone who has been a victim of fraud or suspects that he or she may have been victimized by AP Financial Group is ask to contact the Santa Monica Police Department Criminal Investigations Division. All inquiries should be made to Robbery/Homicide Detective HeeSeok Ahn at 310-458-8941.
People who wish to remain anonymous, can call WeTip at 1-800-78-CRIME (1-800-78-27463), or submit the tip online at www.wetip.com. Anonymous tipsters can also contact Crime Stoppers either by calling (800) 222-TIPS (8477) or by visiting their website at www.lacrimestoppers.org. To text an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers, please view their webpage for detailed instructions. If his or her information leads to arrests and convictions, an informant may be eligible for a reward, up to $1,000.00.
Interesting. A murder plus a multimillion dollar fraud and the reward is $1,000.
- SMPD Cracks 2008 Murder, Fraud Case (Peggy Clifford, Santa Monica Dispatch, 03 March 2012)
- (Karen DeMasters, Financial Advisor Magazine, 06 March 2012)