United States Attorney’s Office Announces Sentencing of Local Businessman on Fraud Charges
INDIANAPOLIS—Josh J. Minkler, Acting United States Attorney, announced today the sentencing of a Fishers businessman who was convicted in June of this year on 10 counts of wire fraud. Hrond Arman Gasparian, 69, was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
“In any case, fraud is stealing,” said Minkler.” It is simply taking money from hardworking, honest individuals and putting it in the hands of a thief. In this case, the thief victimized a church. You can’t get any lower than that.”
Gasparian claimed he was a loan broker who could secure funding for businesses and non-profits. He was convicted for his involvement in two fraudulent schemes that swindled prospective borrowers of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The first scheme involved Bell’s Chapel Church in Indianapolis. Gasparian told members seeking financing to rebuild the church that burned in 2008, he could secure a $3 million grant but would need $365,000 for earnest money and $35,000 non-refundable fee for Gasparian to broker the deal. He told Bell’s Chapel he would put the money in an escrow account, and the refundable portion would be returned upon securing the grant. Gasparian instead spent the $400,000, never securing the grant to Bell’s Chapel and never refunding the earnest money.
In the second scheme Gasparian was convicted of fraudulent behavior which involved two Indianapolis-area businessmen seeking to secure financing for a new construction project. Gasparian assured them he could secure several million dollars in financing for them, but needed $200,000 in earnest money and $25,000 for his brokering fee. Like the members of Bell’s Chapel, the businessmen never received a loan, nor were they returned the refundable earnest money that had been given to Gasparian.
This case is the result of a collaborative effort by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Investigators with the FBI provided key information in securing Gasparian’s conviction. W. Jay Abbott, Special Agent in Charge of the Indianapolis Office said, “The American public needs to know that those who commit financial fraud will be held accountable and today’s sentence makes it clear that this type of fraud in a serious violation of law.”
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Winfield D. Ong, who prosecuted the case for the government, Gasparian faces two years of supervised release after his sentence.