Nicole Ethier reports that a former Valley restaurateur, Reha Soylular, recently was convicted in an identity fraud scheme:
According to court documents, between 2002 and 2004 Soylular gained more than $1,000 by using other individuals’ personal information, including names and Social Security information, to establish merchant teller accounts without permission in Orange County, Calif.
Soylular then used the point-of-sale terminals associated with the fraudulent accounts to hand-key stolen credit card numbers into the machines. The money from the fictitious sales was funneled into an account Soylular shared with co-conspirator Zeki Delgir, court records state.
Soylular has been involved with several North Valley restaurants in the last decade, including Ti Amo in Cave Creek, Baci in Desert Hills and Meridian in Anthem. The numbers to those restaurants are currently disconnected, and one nearby restaurant manager said Ti Amo had been vacant for years.
Soylular pleaded guilty in February 2009 to the scheme.
He was sentenced to seven months in prison and ordered to a pay restitution of $17,327 to the victims, whose identities were kept confidential to protect the victims.