How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Definitely not a deportation case: Complaint lists allegations against L.A. arson suspect's mom

The federal complaint against Dorothee Burkhart, the mother of suspected arsonist Harry Burkhart, is rather a lengthy list of fraud accusations from Germany.

It had been reported yesterday and earlier today that she faced deportation, and that her 24-year-old son, who is suspected of setting more than 50 fires over the holiday weekend, most of them in the Hollywood area, had an angry outburst in immigration court at her hearing. Not so.

The elder Burkhart, a German citizen who faces extradition to her native country and is being considered a fugitive, appeared in federal court today in Los Angeles, where she was arrested last week. Charged with 19 counts of fraud, she is accused of bilking a long string of renters and, in addition, the plastic surgeon who performed her breast augmentation in 2004.

The complaint goes on to read that Dorothee Burkhart is believed to have lived with her son in Hollywood, but that she flew from Frankfurt to Las Vegas in October, accompanying him to the German consulate in Los Angeles Oct. 26 to renew his passport.

Immigration officials have yet to release any information pertaining to Harry Burkhart following his arrest. Check KPCC's website for forthcoming details from Dorothee Burkhart's hearing today.

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