South OC Spa Bomber Sentenced For Fraud Scheme

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A Long Beach man who is serving a life sentence for planting a homemade bomb that killed his ex-girlfriend and injured two others at an Aliso Viejo day spa in 2018 was sentenced Thursday to an extra three years and one month in federal prison for a fraud scheme he concocted years before the bombing.

Stephen Beal, 65, pleaded guilty in downtown Los Angeles in November to federal counts of wire fraud, Social Security fraud and concealment of bankruptcy assets, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In the bombing case, Beal was convicted at retrial in July of use of a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, malicious destruction of a building resulting in death, use of a destructive device in a crime of violence and possession of an unregistered destructive device.

He was sentenced in January to life plus an additional 30 years in federal prison for building and planting the package bomb.

In the separate fraud case, Beal admitted failing to report in a bankruptcy proceeding $350,000 he received from his late wife’s estate. Beal also schemed to fraudulently obtain insurance benefits and Social Security payments after his wife’s 2008 death, according to federal prosecutors.

In the plea agreement, Beal admitted to receiving about $1 million in fraudulent disability payments from an insurance company based on a disability he did not suffer from. He also admitted to receiving more than $350,000 in fraudulent Social Security benefits, and said he concealed assets from a bankruptcy court in connection with the filing of his 2009 bankruptcy, according to documents filed in Los Angeles federal court.

Beal was arrested in March 2019 in connection with the May 15, 2018, explosion that killed 48-year-old Ildiko Krajnyak, who co-owned the Magyar Kozmetica day spa with Beal, and critically injured a mother and daughter.

When Krajnyak rejected Beal and made no secret of dating other men, he “channeled his humiliation into hatching a plan to take revenge,” prosecutors said.

FBI officials said Krajnyak was killed when she opened a cardboard box near the front desk of the Magyar Kozmetica spa, triggering the explosive device inside. The force of the massive explosion ripped Krajnyak’s body apart and destroyed the building.

Evidence included pieces of wire found at the bombing scene that matched wire discovered during a search of Beal’s home. About a week before the explosion, Beal was seen on surveillance video purchasing the type of battery used in the explosive device.

The defense argued that Beal was a rocket hobbyist with a history of building and launching hobby rockets and making fireworks — and any wire or other materials found in his home had no connection to the bomb.

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