HOLLYWOOD HILLS—Two people pleaded guilty on Monday, June 29 to a credit card scheme that cost over $2 million.
The lead defendant in the case, Mikayel Hmayakyan, 43, of Glendale, was charged with two counts of bank fraud, which included purchasing liquor, luxury watches, expensive cars and cemetery plots, and later selling them for profit.
His co-defendant, Gayane Hakobyan, 70, of Hollywood Hills, was charged with one count of bank fraud and would open various credit card accounts under her own name, using the financial institution of her alleged victims.
Other defendants in the case include: Vahan Aloyan, 45, of Glendale and Mikayel Hovhannisyan, 38, who participated in the fraudulent scheme.
Aloyan’s trial is set for October 6, and was allegedly the manager, overseeing the entire operation. Hovhannisyan, who has already been sentenced to nine months in jail, pleaded guilty to his crimes in June 2019. The crimes are said to have spanned from August 2010 to January 2017.
Experian, a multinational credit reporting company explained how “bust out” fraud is executed. According to their detailed 15-page report, it has also been referred to as sleeper fraud, which is not new, when it comes to financial fraud schemes. Perpetrators apply for credit cards, build a good history of credit, obtain additional credit, draw down all of their initial credit, then disappear from sight, before the banks or federal authorities notice their scam has taken place.
Hmayakyan’s trial set to take place on November 16, if found guilty, Hmayakyan could face up to 62 years in prison. Hakobyan’s trial is set for October 8. If found guilty, she could face up to 30 years in prison. The United States District Court Judge overseeing both cases is the honorable George H. Wu. The lead prosecutor is Assistant United States Attorney Poonam G. Kumar.