Tuesday, December 17, 2013

US Hands Armenian Gang Member 8-Year Prison Term

An alleged Armenian gang leader has been sentenced to eight years in prison in California after pleading guilty to involvement in a $2 million bank card scam, as well as drug and weapons charges. Karo Yerkanyan, described by US prosecutors as a leader of the “Armenian Power” gang in California, was sentenced to five years of supervised release last week in addition to the eight-year prison term on charges related to racketeering, bank fraud, identity theft, marijuana trafficking and illegal firearms possession, according to federal court documents. Yerkanyan, who is also known by the nickname “Guilty,” pleaded guilty in a federal court to involvement in a scam that used illegally obtained information from victims’ bank cards to open fraudulent bank accounts, loans and credit lines at HSBC Bank and Bank of America, US prosecutors said in September. The information was stolen using so-called “skimming” devices to steal customers’ bank information at cash registers, causing more than $2 million in damages, prosecutors said.


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