Armenian Power Gang Dealt Setback

Andranik Aloyan, an associate of the Armenian Power gang, has been convicted at trial for his role in a racketeering conspiracy that included stealing personal and financial information of elderly bank customers who held accounts that were valued at more than $25 million.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. 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.

Aloyan, 40, of Los Angeles, was convicted by a federal jury 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 at trial, Aloyan possessed personal and financial information of more than 75 mostly elderly customers of banks throughout the country. The combined value of the accounts for which Aloyan possessed account information exceeded $25 million.

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 fraudulent schemes of bank fraud, identity theft, debit-card skimming, manufacturing counterfeit checks, and laundering criminal proceeds. 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.

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.

Aloyan was convicted after a five-day jury trial before U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez in the Central District of California.

Seventy-seven defendants have previously been convicted or pleaded guilty to the indictments.

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