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Owner of building near LAX is arrested on supergraphics charges [Updated]

August 30, 2010 |  2:31 pm

The owner of a vacant building near Los Angeles International Airport that displays illegal supergraphics was arrested last week, authorities said Monday.

[Corrected, 6:17 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the man was arrested Monday.]

The criminal charges are the most recent filed by Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, who has been cracking down for months on the multistory billboards.

The city attorney’s office filed 48 misdemeanor charges against the owner, Siamak Michael Rahimi, 56, and two of his companies in connection with the illegal advertisements. Rahimi’s ads blanket two sides of a building on Sepulveda Boulevard near the airport.

A prosecutor called the petroleum-based sheeting dangerous, particularly in the event of a fire.

“They pose a threat not only to firefighters but to anyone trapped in the building,” Deputy City Atty.  Jacquelyn Lawson said. “They would prevent the firefighters from entering.”

Lawson said complaints about the jumbo advertisements becoming an eyesore played no role in the criminal charges being filed.

Each of the 48 charges, which Lawson said Rahimi would ultimately be responsible for, comes with a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

[Corrected, 6:17 p.m.: An earlier version of this post said each charge carried a $10,000 fine.]

Rahimi failed to respond to several safety and fire code violations that had been issued to him, according to the city attorney’s office.

Rahimi could not be reached for comment.

-- Robert Faturechi

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