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Four convicted in identity theft and bank fraud scheme

March 22, 2012

Four members of an alleged Armenian organized crime ring were convicted by a federal judge in San Ana Wednesday on charges of identity theft and bank fraud, prosecutors announced Thursday.

The five-week trial at the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana ended this week, where prosecutors linked the four defendants to a crime operation that lasted six years and claimed $10 million from victims in Texas, Arizona, Nevada and Southern California.

Arman Sharopetrosian, of Burbank, ran the operation while behind bars at Avenal State Prison and directed the co-defendants to illegally obtain information from investors’ bank accounts, according to prosecutors.

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Sharopetrosian, along with Kristine Ogandzhanian, 28, of Burbank, Artush Margaryan, 28, of Van Nuys, and Keren Markosian, 39, of Glendale face maximum sentences of 30 years in federal prison for each count of bank fraud and 30 years for each count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and an additional mandatory two years for each count of aggravated identity theft.

Margaryan was convicted by a jury, while the other three were tried by United States District Judge David O. Carter.

All four defendants are scheduled for sentencing Aug. 6.

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-- Tiffany Kelly, Times Community News

Twitter: @LATiffanyKelly

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