Two men, involved with the Armenian Power criminal enterprise, have been sentenced to spend the next 25 years behind bars. They were accused of orchestrating an elaborate identity theft scheme from the Avenal State Prison.
According to the FBI
, the Armenian Power group worked with members of African-American street gangs to gather information needed to empty bank accounts.
In order to gain access to the valuable data, they bribed bank insiders. The accomplices handed over the details of elderly citizens because they were less likely to become aware that their identities had been compromised.
The losses caused by the fraudsters total to over $8 million (€6.24 million).
Angus Brown, aged 36, and Arman Sharopetrosian, aged 33, were convicted earlier this year of leading the fraud scheme from the state facility.
Sharopetrosian was found guilty of bank fraud conspiracy, four counts of bank fraud, and seven counts of aggravated identify fraud. Brown, on the other hand, pleaded guilty at the end of last year to bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and 17 counts of aggravated identity theft.
The judge called this case one of the most sophisticated fraud schemes he had ever seen.