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A Glendale man pleaded guilty to federal money laundering and tax charges related to a scheme in which he helped launder $1.1 million generated by a health care fraud scheme.

Khachatour Hakobyan, 47, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering and filing a false tax return. A second defendant in this case – Aram Aramyan, 59, also of Glendale – pleaded guilty on July 13 to the same two felony offenses.

In plea agreements filed in United States District Court, Hakobyan and Aramyan admitted that they deposited over $1.1 million in proceeds derived from a health care fraud scheme into bank accounts in the names of bogus corporations they established “primarily to launder money.” Once the proceeds were deposited, Hakobyan and Aramyan wrote checks from these corporations to themselves and their associates. Hakobyan and Aramyan further admitted that they cashed some of the checks – and directed their associates to cash others – and returned the cash to the medical entities, typically after deducting a 10 percent commission. In some cases, they deposited the checks into their personal accounts and used the money to pay personal expenses, such as mortgage payments, rent and home remodeling costs.

As part of their guilty pleas, Hakobyan and Aramyan each admitted that they failed to report all of their income from the corporations in their 2009 tax returns and have agreed to pay, respectively, $606,681 and $353,669 in back taxes for tax years 2007 through 2011.

As a result of their guilty pleas, Hakobyan and Aramyan each face a statutory maximum sentence of 23 years in federal prison. Judge Morrow is scheduled to sentence Hakobyan on November 16, and Aramyan on November 2.

There are three remaining defendants in this case: Edgar Hakobyan, 30, of Glendale; Karen Sarkissian, 43, of Glendale; and L’Tanya Smith, 57, of Ladera Park. They are currently scheduled to go on trial before Judge Morrow on February 2, 2016. Two of the defendants are also charged with health care fraud related to a clinic on Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park. The clinic was operated by Sarkissian and employed Smith, a physician’s assistant. Between July 2009 and March 2010, Smith allegedly prescribed or ordered medically unnecessary tests and services, some of which were never provided to the patients. Those prescriptions and orders led to more than $11 million in fraudulent claims.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; and IRS – Criminal Investigation.