March 27, 2020
By Caity Witucki
Contributing Editor, Fraud Friday
Fraud Friday – Luxury Car Dealer Charged in $2.6 Million Loan Fraud Ring
Last week, the California Department of Insurance (CDI) took Yeghishe Msryan, into custody after he was arrested in Poland and extradited back to Los Angeles for his alleged involvement in an organized fraud ring. According to the official press release, Msryan and his three co-conspirators submitted 50 fraudulent auto loans allegedly related to their car dealership business. The fraudulent loans are estimated to total approximately $2.6 million.
According to the investigation conducted by the CDI, Msryan worked for Luxor Auto Group, a high-end auto dealer located in Glendale, California. Between July and October 2012, Msyran and his co-conspirators at Luxor allegedly submitted credit applications, loan contracts and personal data for customers who were allegedly purchasing cars from the dealership. In reality, the dealer did not own any of the vehicles which they claimed to have sold. However, the loan applications were approved and over $2.6 million was deposited into Luxor’s bank account.
After the funds were deposited into Luxor’s bank account, Msryan allegedly used some of the cash to gamble in Las Vegas and wired other funds to Armenia. However, most of the proceeds of the fraud scheme were laundered by writing checks to two other fraudulent businesses owned by Msryan and one of his co-conspirators.
After receiving payment requests for the vehicles, Luxor’s supposed customers filed police reports for identity theft, stating that they had not purchased cars from Luxor. When the scheme was discovered by the police, Msryan fled the country and went into hiding.
Two of Msryan’s co-conspirators, Peter Yerkanyan, and Artur Baghdishyan have already been prosecuted. Yerkanyan was sentenced to ten years in state prison and ordered to pay $2.6 million in restitution while Baghdishyan was sentenced to one year in jail and ordered to pay $181 thousand in restitution. The third co-conspirator’s whereabouts are currently unknown. Msryan is awaiting arraignment and his bail is set at $1.9 million.
California Department of Insurance – Press Release
Booking Photo Courtesy of CA Department of Insurance