Nine California Men Charged in Cell Phone Insurance Fraud

May 9, 2011

Nine Southern California residents have been charged with cell phone fraud with losses from the scheme estimated at more than $400,000, according to the California Department of Insurance (CDI) Fraud Division.

Five of the nine defendants: Akop Markaryan, 26, Armenak Krdanyan, 25, and Ojak Hutagaol, all of Van Nuys; Sevak Ovsepyan, 24, Glendale; and Shant Artoonian, 25, Granada Hills were arraigned in Los Angeles County Superior Court on April 28. They face charges of insurance fraud, grand theft, theft of identifying information, illegal computer access, theft of information and commercial burglary.

In June 2008, CDI’s Fraud Division received information that contract couriers for the delivery company DHL were stealing cell phone packages delivered by Asurion Insurance Services to its customers.

The Fraud Division’s investigation found that Markaryan, who owned a cell phone store in Van Nuys, Krdanyan and Ovspyan were making false claims to Asurion using Verizon customers’ account information that was allegedly stolen by Artoonian from the carrier’s proprietary databases.

DHL contract courier Hutagaol allegedly provided the suspects with random addresses within their delivery routes, stole the delivered cell phone packages and then sold them for a fee.

Source: California Department of Insurance Fraud Division.

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