Landlord Sentenced to 20 Years for Murder-for-Hire and Arson Plot

Landlord Sentenced to 20 Years for Murder-for-Hire and Arson Plot

A North Hollywood landlord, Arthur Raffy Aslanian, 55, of La Cañada Flintridge, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for orchestrating a murder-for-hire and arson plot. Aslanian, known for resorting to violence to settle business disputes and evade debts, was found guilty on two counts of conspiracy, three charges related to murder for hire and arson, and has now faced the consequences of his actions.

During his trial last July, federal prosecutors argued that Aslanian hired a gang member in April 2022 to kill two individuals. One was his former bankruptcy attorney, whom he owed over $261,000 in legal fees, and the other was a man who had successfully sued him. United States Atty. Martin Estrada emphasized that Aslanian believed he could escape punishment by financing a murder plot against his rivals. However, this case serves as a cautionary tale that resorting to violence will lead to severe consequences.

Prosecutors revealed that Aslanian conspired with his former employee, Sesar Rivera, to connect him with a gang member with a criminal record, who would act as a hitman. The gang member, however, decided to cooperate with law enforcement and recorded a meeting with Rivera in July 2022. Instead of carrying out the killings, the gang member turned over the recording to the authorities.

Aslanian’s targets included his former bankruptcy attorney and a man identified only as “S.E.” The latter had successfully sued Aslanian after he attempted to take possession of the home where S.E.’s parents resided. To deceive Aslanian into believing the murders had taken place, law enforcement orchestrated an elaborate operation, with Rivera and the gang member staging a photograph to make it appear as if one of the targets had been shot and killed. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) played a crucial role in saving the lives of the intended victims.

In an unrelated plot, Aslanian was also accused of hiring someone to set fire to one of his rental properties in North Hollywood. The building housed low-income tenants who had been engaged in a long-standing dispute with Aslanian, as he sought to evict them. The tenants accused him of being a slumlord, alleging harassment and threats in his attempts to empty the apartments. Court filings revealed that Aslanian promised to pay $2,000 to someone willing to set fire to the building. Two arson attempts occurred in February and March of 2022.

Sesar Rivera pleaded guilty in March 2023 to one count of conspiracy and one count of using interstate commerce facilities for the commission of a murder-for-hire plot. He is expected to appear in court on July 8 for his sentencing hearing. Christopher Bombardiere, the special agent in charge of the ATF’s Los Angeles Field Division, commended the agency’s efforts in building cases against violent criminals driven by greed.

Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

  1. This news article provides additional information about a recent case involving a landlord in North Hollywood. It highlights the seriousness of the crime and the consequences faced by the individual involved. It serves as a reminder to be cautious and aware of the potential dangers that can exist in various situations, including dealings with landlords. It is always important to prioritize personal safety and report any suspicious activities to the authorities.

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