"Initially, he withdrew the plea, and they reset the date for today," Glendale Police Det. Tigran Topadzhikyan said. "At this appearance, the alternate public defender was representing him. I think once they saw the case, they felt it was probably a good disposition."
Ovsepyan reentered his plea on Thursday and agreed to serve two years in state prison and pay a $65,000 restitution fee to Forest Lawn, Topadzhikyan said.
"I think this is an appropriate sentence," Glendale Police Officer John Balian said. "I think the punishment fits the crime in this case."
Forest Lawn officials could not be reached for comment.
Police say that in November 2005 ? one month after being hired at Forest Lawn Glendale to sell grave plots ? Ovsepyan began selling fraudulent plots.
He was receiving cash from people, providing them with contracts and receipts, but never turning over the money to Forest Lawn, Topadzhikyan said
Police began investigating Ovsepyan in October 2005 when Forest Lawn officials contacted the authorities after receiving several calls from residents inquiring about their plots, he said.
In some cases, victims were sold more than one fraudulent plot at a time, and losses ranged from $2,800 to $19,000 per victim, Topadzhikyan said.
When investigators attempted to track Ovsepyan down last year to question him about the sales, they found he had already left the country, he said.
Armenian authorities took Ovsepyan into custody on March 8, he said. Two members of the FBI's Fugitive Task Force, which worked with Glendale detectives in tracking Ovsepyan down, flew to Yerevan, Armenia, to bring him back, Topadzhikyan said.
While the United States does not have an extradition agreement with Armenia, Ovsepyan is an American citizen who had overstayed his visa in Armenia.