DOCUMENT: Celebrity, Crime

How Convicted L.A. Spa Owner Bilked Liv Tyler

Woman who preyed on celebs faces up to 30 months

Liv Tyler

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Liv Tyler Spa Victim

UPDATE: Hashemipour was sentenced this afternoon to nine months home confinement, to be followed by five years probation. She was also ordered to perform 3000 hours of community service.

JUNE 27--The Beverly Hills spa owner who has admitted bilking her celebrity clientele via fraudulent credit card charges apparently once cut out the signature of Liv Tyler and pasted it onto a bogus invoice to make it appear as if the actress had authorized payment, according to federal investigators.

Maria Gabriela Hashemipour, who pleaded guilty in January to a felony charge, is scheduled to be sentenced this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. Prosecutors have asked a judge to sentence her to 30 months in prison and pay $511,000 in restitution.

In a sentencing memorandum, excerpted here, that accuses Hashemipour of preying on “celebrity and high-income clients,” government lawyers disclosed the Tyler cut and paste job to illustrate “the lengths defendant went to cover up the fraudulent charges.” Tyler, referred to as “L.T.” in the document, had $214,655 in unauthorized charges placed on her American Express card by Hashemipour over a five-month period in 2009.

After discovering the phony charges, Tyler sent an e-mail to jewelry designer Loree Rodkin, a fellow victim, noting that Hashemipour “stole a lot of money from me.” The swindle, which Tyler termed “completely bonkers,” was “very shocking and sad to me since I had been seeing her since I was 18.”

Tyler’s e-mail, which prosecutors included in their sentencing memo, asked Rodkin what steps could be taken to stop Hashemipour. “It would be good for us to at least stop her from doing this to other people going forward as it is very disturbing to say the least.”

Pictured at left, Hashempiour, who was arrested last year by the FBI, ripped off 17 separate clients over a five-year period. In addition to Tyler, she bilked, among others, actresses Anne Hathaway, Melanie Griffith, Penelope Cruz, and actor Scott Speedman.

Along with noting that Hashemipour’s rap sheet includes prior collars for petty theft and passing bad checks, prosecutors contended that she has tried to “mitigate her current crimes and her lies by providing letters from individuals who support her, including from homeless women to whom she has voluntarily provided facials.”

These gratis services, though, came “only after she was caught, charged and convicted,” added prosecutors. (2 pages)