SANTA BARBARA - On June 28, 2017, Robert Lorin Musich, of West Covina, was sentenced to seven years in state prison after pleading guilty to 14 felony counts involving grand theft, forgery and filing false income tax returns.
Musich operated a fire equipment inspection scam in which he ripped off victims statewide for a total of more than $500,000. Musich sent businesses invoices for $413.11 from a company called Red Mountain Security and Fire Protection (RMS). The invoices were for the inspection of fire equipment at the business the invoice was sent to, even though no inspection ever took place.
Musich was arrested on September 1, 2016 and charged with crimes related to the scam. Following his arrest, the California Franchise Tax Board began investigating potential tax-related crimes and in March 2017, Musich was charged with filing a false tax return for tax years 2013-2015.
The investigation by the California Franchise Tax Board and the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office identified nearly 1,300 victims. When Musich was arrested at his home, investigators found boxes full of hundreds of fraudulent invoices with envelopes, ready to be sent out.
In addition to the seven-year prison sentence, Musich was ordered to pay $524,089.30 in restitution to 1,297 victims, $85,282 to the California Franchise Tax Board and a fine of $100,000.
“Local, state and federal investigators teamed up to put a stop to this man and his criminal activity,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “This also serves as a reminder to consumers and business owners to carefully check bills and invoices before submitting payments.”
Other agencies involved in the investigation include:
- Santa Barbara County Fire Department,
- Ontario Fire Department,
- Pomona Police Department,
- West Covina Police Department,
- Nevada State Attorney General’s Office,
- Lake Havasu Police Department, United States Postal Inspector.