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East Valley News: Suspected Drunk Driver Arrested After Fatal Crash

Also: a man admits a $700,000 Ponzi scheme and an armed robbery occurs in Burbank.

Here are some of the top police and fire stories in the East San Fernando Valley from areas not directly covered by Patch. Go to Sherman Oaks Patch, Studio City Patch and North Hollywood-Toluca Lake Patch for news in those areas.

Burbank

A man was in custody Monday on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony drunk driving in connection with a collision at a Burbank intersection.

Ivan Jesus Valle, 29, was behind bars at the Burbank jail in lieu of $100,000 bail, Burbank police Sgt. Mark Stohl said. He was expected to be arraigned Tuesday.

Valle, who is believed to have been visiting relatives in Burbank, was behind the wheel of an SUV that collided with a sedan at the intersection of Buena Vista Street and Alameda Avenue, in front of Providence St. Joseph's Medical Center, just before 5:40 a.m. Sunday, police said.

"Somebody was moving pretty quick," said Burbank police Sgt. Mike Parrinello, adding that Valle and the man who was killed were the only ones in their respective vehicles.

Three young women injured when the pickup truck they were in crashed into a tree and a bus bench in Burbank were hospitalized today.

The accident on Glenoaks Boulevard at Providencia Avenue was reported about 11:35 p.m. Saturday, Burbank Sgt. Mark Stohl said.

"Alcohol does appear to be a factor," Stohl said, adding that the driver's blood was tested at a hospital.

All three women, in their late teens or early 20s, were taken to a hospital, he said.

Mission Hills

Firefighters helped evacuate some 40 homes at a Mission Hills mobile home park Thursday in response to an underground gas leak.

The leak at the 193-unit Bermuda Manufactured Home Park at 15440 Los Olivos St. was reported at 1:26 a.m., Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said.

Forty-one firefighters responded and helped around 65 people, most of them seniors, out of some 40 homes in a "calm and orderly localized evacuation," Humphrey said, adding that the evacuees were shuttled to a nearby community clubhouse and no one was endangered by the fumes.

A Southern California Gas Company crew arrived at the mobile home park to make repairs, Humphrey said. He said the gas was shut at 3:44 a.m. and residents began returning to their homes.

Gas Company spokesman Javier Mendoza said the problem apparently was caused by a third-party crew that was excavating in the area before the leak was reported. Gas company crews were working to restore service.

Glendale

A Glendale man Thursday admitted running three separate scams, including one in which he pocketed more than $700,000 by impersonating his father to take out a loan on his parents' home and drain the family's bank account.

Kaveh Vahedi, 51, faces multiple years in federal prison when he is sentenced in April.

Vahedi entered guilty pleas before U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson to one count each of wire fraud in a Ponzi scheme, conspiracy in the mortgage fraud scam, and bank fraud to resolve the case related to the fraud against his parents.

In the plea agreement, Vahedi acknowledged his role in the Ponzi scheme that conned 30 families out of more than $8 million and a mortgage fraud scheme in which hundreds of phony loan applications were submitted to banks through his brokerage firm.   According to the document, Vahedi ran an elaborate Ponzi scheme through his investment company, KGV Investments, which he used to give victims the appearance that he was a successful businessman who made hundreds of millions of dollars brokering international bond deals.

He also told investors that his contacts gave him lucrative opportunities to invest in commercial developments in China and Dubai, as well as large real estate projects in the United States, court papers show.

Vahedi further admitted that he persuaded more than 30 investors to give him about $12 million to invest on their behalf. But Vahedi spent the money on his own mortgage payments on several properties, luxury vehicles and private school tuition, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Vahedi ran a mortgage brokerage firm he named Countywide Financial -- no relation to the Southern California-based mortgage lender implicated the foreclosure crisis -- which was an approved broker for several major lenders, including Bank of America.

Vahedi admitted he submitted at least 250 bogus loan applications that included falsified employment and income records to these lenders.

In addition to those crimes, Vahedi acknowledged posing as his father to withdraw about $250,000 from his parents' bank account and taking out an equity loan of $493,000 against his family's home.

Burbank

A 32-year-old man was getting out of his car Thursday afternoon when two masked men confronted him and took a jewelry bag he was carrying, as well as his cellphone and his car keys.

The robbery happened about 2:45 p.m. in an industrial area in the 1600 block of Maria Street, according to Darin Ryburn of the Burbank Police Department.

The two robbers then got into a charcoal gray Mitsubishi four-door sedan with paper plates that contained three additional masked men, Ryburn said.

Anyone who might have seen the robbery or the vehicle fleeing the scene were asked to call Burbank detectives at (818) 238-3210.

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