Woman arrested for running affordable housing scam in Glendale

People should stay away from strangers promising low-income housing assistance in exchange for money, authorities warned.

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A woman was arrested for allegedly operating a series of scams on people interested in affordable housing in Glendale, city officials announced Tuesday.

Sima Karapetyan of North Hollywood was accused of posing as an employee of the Glendale Housing Authority to scam victims out of money while promising them access to low-income housing and improved status on the Section 8 Housing Voucher waiting list.

The 47-year-old committed the fraud mainly at public aid offices and local non-profit support agencies, where she was able to approach and gain the trust of low-income and vulnerable elders, the Glendale Police Department said

The fraud scheme was discovered in April 2024, along with the allegations that Karapetyan also used social media to attract more victims. 

During the investigation, it was determined that Karapetyan took money from at least 11 victims since 2021. 

After being arrested on May 23, Karapetyan was arraigned on seven counts of theft by false pretense and four counts of elder abuse.

She remained in custody on $450,000 bail as of Tuesday afternoon. 

“If you are approached by someone promising low-income housing assistance in exchange for money, please ignore the request,” warned the Glendale Housing Authority. “Do not believe that low-income housing assistance can be purchased on the street from strangers.”

Authorities urged people to report any fraud to their hotline (818) 548-6442 or via email at section8fraud@glendaleca.gov.

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