The Orange County District Attorney’s office is on the hunt for a Lake Forest woman accused of defrauding her employer, the Orange County Social Services Agency, out of $150,000.
An arrest warrant is out for Nahid Bijaripour Vakilian, 55, Lake Forest, a supervisor at the Social Services Agency. She is believed to be in Iran, according to a press release for the Orange County D.A.'s office.
Meanwhile, a colleague of hers, Fereshteh Shafiee, 52, of Mission Viejo, was arrested today in connection with the elaborate scheme. Yet a third suspect, Shafiee’s mother Iran Schafiee, is also at large, the D.A. said.
Vakilian was a supervisor for the In-Home Support Services program at the Social Services Agency, which helps residents who are unable to live at home safely without help.
In addition to working full time for the agency, Shafiee represented herself to Vakilian as a full-time caregiver for her parents, eligible for reimbursement from the state, the D.A. alleges.
Over the course of several months, Shafiee is accused of billing for 509 hours of care a month. This was in addition to the 173 hours spent at her job at the Social Services Agency.
“In a month with a total of 720 hours, Fereshteh Shafiee is accused of claiming to work 682 hours,” says the press release.
Vakilian was fully aware that Shafiee’s claimed hours were fraudulent, but she approved them anyway. Then Shafiee turned around and lent Vakilian $150,000, according to the D.A.
Vakilian is charged with one felony count each of misappropriation of public funds and medical insurance fraud with sentencing enhancements and allegations for over $100,00 in loss, property loss over $65,000, and aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, the D.A. reports.
Shafiee is facing the exact same charges as her Social Services colleague, according to the D.A.’s office. Her arraignment is scheduled for Thursday. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of eight years in state prison, according to the press release.
Shafiee is charged with one felony count of medical
insurance fraud and faces the same sentencing enhancements as her daughter and Vakilian. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of six years in state