Deputy U.S. Marshal from Brea convicted of framing ex-girlfriend over Anaheim condo dispute – San Bernardino Sun

A deputy U.S. marshal from Brea was convicted last week of attempting to frame his ex-girlfriend for a hoax sex assault and made-up threats as part of a 2016 plot to get her to give up her share of a condo they owned together in Anaheim, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

A jury found Ian Richard Diaz, 44, guilty of all counts on Thursday, March 23 after a week-long trial held in federal court in Downtown Los Angeles.

He was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit cyberstalking, one count of cyberstalking, one count of perjury and one count of obstructing a federal proceeding. Diaz is set to be sentenced in June; he faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, according to a DOJ statement.

A federal grand jury indictment filed against Diaz nearly two years ago detailed his plans of revenge against his ex-girlfriend, Michelle Suzanne Hadley, of Ontario. The two had dated for two years, with their relationship ending in 2015. Diaz married his now ex-wife, Angela Diaz, in February 2016. The scheme began a few months later.

Prosecutors said the couple set up online accounts in Hadley’s name in May 2016, then used them to make it appear as though Hadley was threatening them. From one account on Craigslist, the couple made it seem as though Hadley had arranged for men to go to their home to sexually assault Angela Diaz.

In one of those purported incidents, the couple claimed a masked man sent by Hadley attacked Angela Diaz in their garage.

Ian Diaz reported the false crimes to Anaheim police, landing Hadley in jail for more than three months.

Eventually, Diaz’s story fell apart and Hadley was released, but it still took nearly five years for federal authorities to arrest and charge the deputy U.S. marshal in May 2021.

Diaz’s conviction Thursday “has brought so much peace to my family and restored some of the faith we lost in the justice system as a result of (his) crimes against me,” Hadley said in a statement to NBC News.

Hadley’s ordeal left her with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a lawsuit she filed against the city of Anaheim in 2018. After her arrest, Hadley lost her job and was forced to drop out of business school.

Court records show Anaheim police arrested Hadley in June 2016. She quickly bailed out. But less than a month later, Orange County prosecutors demanded she be rearrested — they claimed “escalating events” required them to jail Hadley in the name of public safety. Police took Hadley into custody in July, and she would remain jailed until October 2016.

Hadley’s lawsuit, and the later indictments against Ian and Angela Diaz, showed the couple convinced police of the alleged harassment campaign they said Hadley was waging against them.

“APD detectives willfully turned a blind eye to Ian Diaz’s obviously false reports because he was a fellow law enforcement officer,” Hadley’s lawsuit read. “He was friendly with the detectives investigating Ms. Hadley, texting and emailing with them.”

Angela Diaz was convicted for her part in the plot in 2017. She was sentenced to five years in prison.

Anaheim settled Hadley’s lawsuit in 2021 for $1.8 million, according to a city spokesman.

Attorneys for both Ian Diaz and Hadley did not return requests for comment on Monday.

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