FROM: U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
Monday, August 18, 2014
Armenian Power Associate Sentenced to More Than 13 Years in Prison for Racketeering Conspiracy
An associate of the Armenian Power gang, who was convicted at trial for his role in a racketeering conspiracy that included stealing personal and financial information of elderly bank customers for accounts valued at more than $25 million, was sentenced to serve 168 months in prison today in federal court in Los Angeles.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie Yonekura of the Central District of California and Assistant Director in Charge Bill L. Lewis of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office made the announcement. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez of the Central District of California.
Andranik Aloyan, 41, of Los Angeles was found guilty by a federal jury on Feb. 11, 2014, of racketeering conspiracy, attempted bank fraud, access device fraud, four counts of aggravated identity theft and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. According to evidence presented at trial, Aloyan possessed personal and financial information belonging to more than 75 mostly elderly customers of banks operating throughout the country. This information was stolen by Aloyan and his associates. The combined value of the accounts for which Aloyan possessed account information exceeded $25 million dollars. In addition to his prison term of 168 months, Aloyan was sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $3,516,711 in restitution to victims.
Aloyan was among 90 individuals charged in two indictments, including a 140-count indictment in July 2011 charging 70 defendants with a variety of criminal activities associated with the Armenian Power gang. The indictment accused 29 defendants, including Aloyan, of participating in the Armenian Power racketeering conspiracy that involved a host of illegal activities such as sophisticated bank fraud, identity theft, debit-card skimming, manufacturing counterfeit checks and money laundering. In addition, defendants in the case were allegedly involved in a variety of violent crimes, such as kidnapping, extortion and firearms offenses, along with other crimes including drug trafficking and illegal gambling. Eighty-one defendants have previously been convicted or pleaded guilty to the charges, including 24 defendants who were convicted of or pleaded guilty to racketeering charges.
According to court documents, the Armenian Power street gang formed in the East Hollywood district of Los Angeles in the 1980s. The gang’s membership consisted primarily of individuals of Armenian descent, as well as of other countries within the former Soviet bloc. Armenian Power has been designated under California state law as a criminal street gang and is believed to have more than 250 documented members, as well as hundreds of associates. According to court documents, Armenian Power members and associates regularly carry out violent criminal acts, including murders, attempted murders, kidnappings, robberies, extortions and witness intimidation to enrich its members and associates and preserve and enhance the power of the criminal enterprise.
The case was investigated by the Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force, which is comprised of the FBI, the Glendale Police Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Burbank Police Department, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Secret Service.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Andrew Creighton of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Martin Estrada, Elizabeth Yang and Stephen Wolfe of the Central District of California.