A Los Angeles-area couple and three partners were charged last week with torturing two employees of a loan modification company who they believed had defrauded them and reneged on a promise to help save their home in a Los Angeles suburb.
The couple, Daniel Weston and Mary Ann Parmelee, and three other defendants each were charged with two counts of torture, two counts of false imprisonment by violence and two counts of second-degree robbery, according to a criminal complaint filed against them.
Weston and Parmelee live in a home under foreclosure in La Canada-Flintridge and “allegedly sought loan modification assistance from the victims but believed that nothing was being done and wanted their money back,” said a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, Shiara Davila-Morales.
They allegedly lured loan agents Lamond Dean and Gustavo Canez into a Glendale home where they held the pair for hours, robbed them, threatened them with a firearm and beat them with “wooden knuckles.” Weston and another man, who previously served time for assault, are accused of carrying out the beatings in front of their three co-defendants, who prosecutors say had prior business ties with the two victims by having funneled loan-modification referrals to them. Police were called after one of the victims managed to escape, said. Ms,Davila-Morales.
All five of the accused have pleaded not guilty. The defendants are each being held on $1 million bail and face charges that could land them in prison for life. An attorney for Gonzalez and Parker says his clients are innocent and the loan modification agents were frauds.