Former Glendale business owner admits he scammed customers out of about $20 million. LOS ANGELES -- A 43-year-old Van Nuys man pleaded guilty Wednesday to felony federal mail fraud charges in connection with an investment scam that bilked about $20 million from mostly Armenian-Americans, many of whom were from Glendale and Burbank, officials with the United States Attorney's Office said.
Melkon Gharakhanian could face up to five years in federal prison for using his Glendale-based company, National Investment Enterprises Inc., to collect $20 million from 1999 to 2001 from investors who thought their money was going toward the purchase of technological security systems, United States Attorney's Office spokesman Thom Mrozek said.
Many of those victims -- 200 of them -- were from the Glendale-Burbank area, officials said.
Gharakhanian, whose alias was Mike Garian, entered his guilty plea in the United States District Court in Los Angeles based on a written plea agreement, Asst. United States Attorney Michael R. Wilner.