Real Name: Omar Adalberto Arroyo
Aliases: Luis Omar
Wanted For: Fraud
Missing Since: October 25, 2001
Details: In 1997 in a working class neighborhood in North Hollywood, California, a new music school, owned by Omar Arroyo and Mario Yunis, opened and hundreds of parents soon signed up their children for the low cost lessons. Arroyo and Yunis hired several veteran instructors to teach the children the accordion. Yunis was a studio musician who was fluent in several languages while Arroyo was an up and coming salsa singer and used car salesman, but there was nothing unusual about their carefully crafty sales pitch. Yunis was charming and persuasive and worked with the parents while Arroyo worked behind the scenes, and the two sold parents different music lesson packages. Martha Gallardo brought one package for her daughter that included the purchase of an accordion, billed over a three year period, along with music lessons for three different instruments over a three year period. However, things soon began to fall apart when one day Martha arrived with her daughter for a lesson when nobody was there, and the first thing that came to mind was fraud. When Martha received her credit card bill, she found a single charge for the entire accordion, over $1,800, when the accordion was actually a cheap import that was worth less than $300. However, many other unsuspecting families who were unaware of certain laws protecting credit card victims were hit much harder, some totalling $20,000. The two apparently even duped their own employees, lying to them about the credit card scheme and paying them with bogus checks. According to the authorities, Arroyo and Yunis swindled the money through identity theft, and by using the personal information from the school, they were able to open fraudulent credit card accounts, and in just over a year, they stole one and a half million dollars, but their scam unraveled when Martha and several other parents found out that the music school had re-opened in a different location. Police detective Juan Baello quickly discovered that the two alleged swindlers ran several music schools under various aliases, an during this time, they had gone on a spending spree with the stolen money. Arroyo used about $10,000 of the stolen money to cut a salsa CD under the name Luis Omar, and his partner Mario Yunis also took on a new identity: Delia Leon, a woman after a sex-change operation, which was $33,000 and paid off of one of the parent's credit cards. Then, Arroyo and Leon became lovers and they moved into a luxuorious home in L.A.'s Woodland Hills and also gave the impression of a family with Arroyo's two children from a previous marriage living with them. Police followed the suspects for days and on October 25, 2001, armed with a search warrant, raided their home. Leon a.k.a. Yunis tried to escape through the backyard but was quickly caught, but denied any involvement in the scam. She told police that Arroyo left just hours before and has not been seen since. Thanks to the parents involved in the case, and detective Juan Baello, Mario "Delia" Yunis was in custody, but many parents still had to pay a heavy price and Arroyo is still at large.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the July 3, 2002 episode of Unsolved Mysteries.
Results: Captured. In August of 2003, Arroyo was arrested at his Curridabat, Puerto Rico home, was extradited back to California, and was sentenced to six years in prison. His accomplice, Mario "Delia" Yunis, was sentenced to twelve years in prison.