Beverly Hills councilman’s son charged with impersonation

The son of a Beverly Hills councilman has been charged with impersonation, accused of creating a fake social media account posing as his father’s opponent in the June mayoral elections, have LA County prosecutors said Thursday.

Adam Friedman, 32, is accused of creating a fake online account in April for Sharona Nazarian, who was running for a seat on the Beverly Hills City Council. Friedman’s father, Alderman Lester Friedman, was seeking re-election, and Nazarian was a leading contender. The two eventually won two of the three seats that were up for election this year.

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

The fake account, sources said, was an Instagram page titled “Sharona4Gascon” that included statements supporting LA County Dist. Atti. George Gascón, who is facing a recall campaign and whose criminal justice reform policies have drawn heavy criticism from law enforcement.

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

Last month, investigators from the District Attorney’s Office executed a search warrant at 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 the warrants as part of the investigation and that the warrant did not name him and was not directed to him. Asked by a Courier reporter if he had a connection to the fake account, the adviser replied: “Absolutely not.”

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

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

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