Daniel Weston, 52, La Cañada, Califorina, and Gustavo Canez, 36, Los Angeles, California, were charged with two counts of torture, two counts of false imprisonment by violence and two counts of second-degree robbery in connection with the beating and torture of a pair of loan modification agents.
The criminal complaint alleges that in the commission of the offenses Weston and Canez personally used a handgun. The complaint further alleges that Canez was convicted in March 2000 of assault with a firearm.
Three others were arraigned and have pleaded not guilty. Mario Soloman Gonzales, 47, Glendale, Marissa Parker, 49, Sylmar, and Mary Ann Parmelee, La Cañada, were each charged with two counts of torture, two counts of false imprisonment by violence and two counts of second-degree robbery.
Gonzales additionally faces one count of possession of a deadly weapon, wood knuckles. The criminal complaint includes an allegation that in the commission of the offenses a principal was armed with a gun.
Prosecutors said Weston and Parmelee live in a house that is in foreclosure. The two allegedly sought loan modification assistance from the victims but believed that nothing was being done and wanted their money back.
The defendants, including Gonzales and Parker, purportedly set up a meeting with the victims at the location where the assault took place. Weston and Canez allegedly carried out the attack in the presence of the other defendants. The victims also were allegedly robbed of their loan paperwork and personal belongings.
Gonzales, Parker and Parmelee, a realtor, had a business relationship with the victims, prosecutors said. The three funneled loan modification referrals to the two agents.
Bail was recommended at $2.1 million for Weston and $2.8 million for Canez.
Weston and Canez are due to appear for arraignment in Department 1 of Glendale Superior Court. The defendants are charged in case No. GA078241. Gonzales, Parker and Parmelee are next due at Burbank Superior Court on Nov. 2, 2009, for a pre-preliminary hearing.
Deputy District Attorney Norma Serna of the Glendale Area Office made the announcement.