One man with a notary stamp can do a lot of damage.
In an audacious scheme to trick mobile carrier Sprint out of $1,700, Kamyar Farahan of Golden Valley allegedly stole the identity of a Minnesota lawyer to negotiate a fake lawsuit.
According to the Washington County Attorney's Office, Farahan filed suit against Sprint in August 2014, listing himself as the plaintiff and Larry Schwartz as his attorney. Farahan's attorney allegedly sent several demand letters before Sprint agreed to settle.
Then Sprint's attorney got suspicious and decided to run a background check on Larry Schwartz with the Minnesota Roll of Attorneys. No results. Sprint then checked his bar number, which led to Robert D. Schwartz, a lawyer and notary from St. Louis Park. The real Schwartz said he'd never represented Farahan.
Investigators found that Farahan has a habit of posing as a lawyer in the name of Larry Schwartz. He's been in and out of jail over the past decade for fraud, assault, check forgery, and identity theft.
City Pages shined a small light on him in 2005, after he sued the Minneapolis Police Department. Farahan said he'd gotten into a rough altercation with cops about a month after the September 11 attacks, accusing police of illegally stopping and searching his car in downtown Minneapolis, viciously beating him up, and calling him ethnic slurs like "rag head" and towel head."
Police denied it, but the city eventually settled the lawsuit for $90,000.
This time around, fraud investigators are looking to put Farahan away for a while. The same criminal complaint alleged that in November 2013, Farahan forged a deed to make it look as though his dad had sold him a house. Cops say Farahan then resold that house for a profit of $62,000, all without his father's knowledge.
Then Farahan allegedly tried to con Progressive Insurance as well. In January 2014, he claimed that he'd gotten car repairs done by a nonexistent auto shop in Red Wing, and demanded the insurance company reimburse him for $1,531. He also sued Progressive for negligent roadside assistance, demanding $3,000 to settle the claim. Progressive ended up paying him $2,000.
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