Malibu Man Charged with Grand Theft

July 15, 2005

Editor’s Note: Since first publishing this report, Insurance Journal has learned that Vahe K. Hagopian plead guilty to an infraction of practicing shorthand without a license and was sentenced to pay a fine of $1,000. All other charges were dismissed. – Sept. 1, 2007

A Malibu, California man who owned and operated various court reporting and translation services in La Canada-Flintridge and later in Malibu was caught allegedly submitting false invoices over five years totaling nearly $210,000 in losses to insurance companies.

Vahe K. Hagopian was arraigned at the Los Angeles Superior Court and faces a maximum of 16 months to three years in prison for each charge which includes 11 counts of grand theft and four counts of attempted grand theft.

The California Department of Insurance Fraud Division investigated this case for over two years and according to investigators, Hagopian allegedly performed court recording and translation services for plaintiff’s attorneys at depositions. He then allegedly submitted numerous fraudulent invoices for the same deposition service directly to the claims adjusters. The invoices were not submitted to the defense attorneys, so justification for the billings was never confirmed.

Hagopian owned NationWyde Court Reporting, ITW Court Services and Pacific Court Reporters and allegedly submitted fraudulent invoices to various insurers from 1999 through 2004 amounting in $209,965 in loss paid by the victims and an additional $4,673 in attempted billings.

Invoices were also allegedly submitted by Hagopian to claims adjusters when there was no service requested and no product received. He was arraigned July 13 and bail was set at $260,000. Investigators say that Hagopian allegedly billed or attempted to bill Federated Insurance, State Farm Insurance, Allstate Insurance, CNA Insurance, AAA, 21st Century Insurance, Hartford Insurance, Fireman’s Fund Insurance, Mercury Insurance, USAA, and Century National Insurance.

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