The former manager of a Wells Fargo branch in Glendale Hakop Zakaryan pleaded guilty on Monday to using his position to aid a $14-million money laundering scam.
According to Justice Department, Hakop Zakaryan, 34, will face a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison.
Zakaryan admitted in his plea agreement that he used his position as bank manager in Glendale to “unfreeze” bank accounts that Wells Fargo had frozen because of suspected fraud. To do so, Zakaryan called the bank’s loss prevention department and provided false information to unfreeze the bank accounts.
The underlying Stolen Identity Refund Fraud (SIRF) scheme involved schemers who used false identities and fake Republic of Armenia passports to open hundreds of bank accounts that were used to launder funds fraudulently received from the IRS. A total of 18 defendants, including Zakaryan and Glendale lawyer Arthur S. Charchian, have been charged in that scheme.
In December 2018 Charchian pleaded guilty to money laundering and making a false statement to the Social Security Administration. He will face 15 years in jail.