News Releases

November 30, 2022: Trio Charged in Energy-Efficient Scam Targeting Consumers

Media Relations Division
(213) 257-2000

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced today that three people have been charged in a 29-count complaint for enticing consumers to receive energy-efficient improvements to their homes but the work was never completed.

“Consumers should be able to participate in programs that can benefit them without being preyed upon by people using deceptive practices,” District Attorney Gascón said. “The people who were victimized were especially vulnerable because some were elderly and for many English was not their primary language. My office will prosecute those who break the law by exploiting consumers for their own personal gain.”

Pedro De Jesus Diaz (dob 4/1/81), Esfahani Salahi (dob 12/2/93) and Mahsa Karimaghaei (dob 11/13/91) were charged in case BA510502. Among the charges are grand theft, first-degree residential burglary, unauthorized use of personal identifying information, false personation and diverting construction funds.

The case was filed for warrant on November 10.

All three defendants have pleaded not guilty. A preliminary hearing setting is scheduled for January 19 in Department 50 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

Diaz ran Bright Energy Inc., a company that offered to install energy-efficient products such as solar panels, roofing and heating or air conditioning units. Salahi and Karimaghaei were company employees who solicited possible customers.

The company was enrolled in the state’s Property Assessed Clean Energy loan program. Between 2018 and 2019, the defendants are accused of making false and misleading statements to nine consumers to do construction on their homes.

The defendants allegedly used the homeowners’ personal information to apply for loans without permission.

In most of the projects, the work was never finished and the company is accused of keeping roughly $843,000 in loan money.

The case remains under investigation by the California Department of Consumer Affairs, Contractors State License Board.