LOS ANGELES – A Glendale man pleaded responsible as we speak to federal felony expenses that he led a collection of scams, together with “bust-out” schemes the place he and others fraudulently charged thousands and thousands of to bank cards generally opened with “artificial identities” and later used them to purchase luxurious vehicles and cemetery plots that he offered for revenue.
As the results of a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Safety Investigations (HSI) Los Angeles, the U.S. Secret Service and the Glendale Police Division, Mikayel Hmayakyan, 43, pleaded responsible to 2 counts of financial institution fraud and one depend of aggravated identification theft.
U.S. District Decide George H. Wu has scheduled a November 16 sentencing listening to, at which era Hmayakyan will face a statutory most sentence of 62 years in federal jail.
In his plea settlement, Hmayakyan, the case’s lead defendant, admitted to working a collection of fraudulent schemes, together with one from November 2014 to September 2015, the place he used fraudulently obtained bank cards to buy liquor and luxurious watches value lots of of hundreds of .
Hmayakyan and others obtained the bank cards – generally utilizing their actual names, however usually with artificial identities created with a mix of actual and fictitious info – that have been run as much as the credit score restrict. Members of the scheme then “paid down” by submitting funds from accounts with inadequate funds or by faux accounts to revive the credit score line, which allowed them to make extra purchases.
As a part of the scheme, Hmayakyan and others used the fraudulently obtained bank cards to buy lots of of hundreds of in alcoholic drinks on behalf of the now-closed Liquor Spot in Glendale, the place co-defendant Vahan Aloyan, 45, of Glendale, was a supervisor.
Through the execution of a search warrant in 2016, HSI particular brokers and legislation enforcement companions seized greater than 37,000 bottles of alcoholic drinks, value roughly $300,000, from the Liquor Spot. In addition they seized almost $13,000 in U.S. foreign money from the shop, in addition to almost $13,000 and 37 watches and different jewellery gadgets from Aloyan’s residence.
In felony conduct courting again to August 2010 and persevering with till April 2016, Hmayakyan fraudulently utilized for loans underneath an alias to acquire a Kia Optima and in an actual individual’s identify for luxurious vehicles, together with Lexus vehicles, in keeping with the plea settlement. Hmayakyan admitted that he by no means supposed to pay any bank card payments nor made any funds on the loans.
Hmayakyan additionally admitted that from March 2014 till January 2017, he used fraudulent bank cards within the names of assorted aliases – together with “Liam Sarcozzy” and “Marco Reus” – to buy plots at Forest Garden Cemetery in Glendale, which he later offered at a revenue.
The overall supposed loss to which the monetary establishments have been uncovered was $5,232,383, in keeping with the plea settlement.
Co-defendant Gayane Hakobyan, 70, of Hollywood Hills, additionally pleaded responsible as we speak to at least one depend of financial institution fraud. Hakobyan admitted that she participated within the “bust-out” scheme by permitting others to open bank card accounts in her identify with the sufferer monetary establishments.
Decide Wu has scheduled an October eight sentencing listening to for Hakobyan, at which era she is going to face a statutory most sentence of 30 years in federal jail.
Co-defendant Mikayel Hovhannisyan, 38, of North Hollywood, pleaded responsible in June 2019 to at least one depend of financial institution fraud and is serving a nine-month federal jail sentence. Aloyan, the only real remaining defendant, is scheduled to go on trial on this matter on October 6.
This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Lawyer for the Central District of California’s Main Frauds Part.