Man charged in property reassessment scam

LOS ANGELES - Criminal charges were filed Wednesday by the District Attorney against the operator of a private company that offered to "assist" homeowners with filing property tax reassessment forms for substantial fees.Sean McConville, 29, surrendered to Ventura County authorities in connection with a criminal case filed against him there. McConville reportedly lives in Simi Valley but his company, Property Tax Reassessment, lists a post office box in Los Angeles County as its business address, authorities said. McConville was charged with one felony count of attempted grand theft of personal property and 32 misdemeanor counts of violating the state's Business and Professions code by false advertising and business solicitation with a misleading governmental term or symbol. According to the complaint, McConville was previously convicted of robbery in 1997. McConville ran one of about a dozen such operations that sent out mail solicitations - appearing governmental and with misleading content - offering to assist homeowners for fees of $179 or more to file property tax reassessment forms. The service is provided free by the Los Angeles County Assessor's Office. McConville is currently being held on $70,000 bail. He is expected to be arraigned either today or early next week.

********** Published: May 15, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 4