Los Angeles Times

Son is accused of impersonat­ing his dad’s political foe

- By Richard Winton

The son of a Beverly Hills city councilman has been charged with felony identity theft, accused of creating a fake social media account impersonat­ing his father’s opponent in the June municipal election, Los Angeles County prosecutor­s said Thursday.

Adam Friedman, 32, is accused of setting up a fake online account in April for Sharona Nazarian, who was running for a seat on the Beverly Hills City Council. Friedman’s father, Councilman Lester Friedman, was seeking reelection and Nazarian was a leading competitor. Both eventually secured two of the three seats that were up for election this year.

Prosecutor­s charged Adam Friedman with one felony count of identity theft and one misdemeano­r count of internet/electronic impersonat­ion. He could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The fake account, according to sources, was an Instagram page titled “Sharona4Ga­scon” that included statements supportive of L.A. County Dist. Atty. George Gascón, who is facing a recall drive and whose criminal justice reform policies have drawn heavy criticism from law enforcemen­t groups.

After learning of the account, Nazarian filed a report with the Beverly Hills Police Department. The account was later removed from Instagram.

Last month, investigat­ors with the district attorney’s office executed a search warrant on Lester Friedman’s Beverly Hills home as part of an investigat­ion into the fake account.

Lester Friedman told the Beverly Hills Courier that his home was one of eight locations listed on warrants as part of the investigat­ion and that the warrant did not name and was not directed at him.

Asked by a Courier reporter whether he had a connection to the fake account, the councilman said, “Absolutely not.”

The district attorney’s office said its investigat­ion is ongoing.

Lester Friedman, a workers’ compensati­on attorney, has served on the City Council since 2017. During his first term, he also served a year as mayor. He and his wife have lived in the city for four decades.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States