Garden Grove

Contractor arrested for elder abuse fraud

A CONTRACTOR was arrested by Garden Grove police on an elder abuse fraud charge (GGPD photo).

By Lou Ponsi

Garden Grove police have arrested a former contractor in connection to a financial elder abuse case that cost a couple close to $47,000 in losses.

Robert Thanh Trinh, 32, of La Habra was arrested on suspicion of financial fraud of the elderly and burglary after police say he convinced an 89-year-old man and his 87-year-old wife that they needed $47,000 in upgrades to their home.

Trinh, who was operating as a contractor through his business, Pacific Home Remodeling, forged the victims’ signatures while they were at the hospital tending to the husband’s deteriorating health.

ROBERT THANH TRINH (GGPD photo).

“This overt act of forgery facilitated the release of funds to Pacific Home Remodeling and caused a loan to be taken out against the equity in the Singers’ home,” said GGPD Det. Scott Coleman, a financial crimes investigator.

The victims’ children became aware of the situation and contacted the GGPD.

With help from the family, GGPD investigators collected enough evidence to arrest Trinh.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is charging Trinh with forgery, grand theft and mortgage fraud.

The husband died in April while the case still was under investigation and the couple’s home was burglarized while the family was attending the funeral.

Trinh is out on bail and while his contractor’s license has been revoked by the state licensing board, he could continue to operate as a salesman in the construction industry, Coleman said.

The detective urged anyone who may have been victimized by Trinh to contact the District Attorney’s Office.

“It’s important that people with elderly family members remain aware of Robert Trinh and other contractors engaging in predatory home-improvement and reverse-mortgage scams,” the detective said.

For more on law enforcement news, policies and personalities, go to www.behindthebadge.com .

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