When Robert Lorin Musich was arrested in a fire inspection scam, investigators found boxes containing hundreds more fake invoices ready to be mailed. Musich has been sending invoices in the amount of $413.11 to businesses throughout California, stating that they owed Red Mountain Security, or RMS, for a fire equipment inspection that had never taken place. Between Santa Barbara investigators and the state Franchise Tax Board, 1,297 victims were discovered who had paid a total of $502,189.91 to Musich. He pled guilty on Wednesday to multiple felony counts.
The search for the scammer began when Santa Barbara County Fire Chief Eric Petersen received a call in last year from a business owner questioning an invoice he’d received. As well as the county District Attorney’s Office, agencies in Ontario, Pomona, West Covina, Nevada, Lake Havasu, and the U.S. Postal Investigator were involved in the investigation. Musich was arrested in Pomona on September 1, 2016. At the time, he was on probation in Nevada for the same scheme. In that 2015 case, investigators had learned he had a boat and telephoned him to say it was sinking. When he showed up at Arizona’s Lake Havasu Marina, he was arrested.
Musich is expected to be sentenced to seven years in California prison on June 28, when he will likely be ordered to pay complete restitution to the victims, unpaid taxes, and costs of investigation. Once he completes that sentence, he is back to Nevada for three more years in state prison for violating probation.