A federal court on Friday convicted a former branch manager of a Glendale Wells Fargo of money laundering in connection with a $1.66-million mass-mailing scam, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
A jury found Albert Yagubyan, a 37-year-old Burbank resident, guilty of one count of conspiracy to launder money, four counts of concealment of money laundering and one count of entering false bank entries.
Yagubyan had laundered over $1 million from a mass-mailing scheme in which he participated with two Glendale men, according to the Department of Justice. The two men — 37-year-old Artashes Darbinyan and 42-year-old Orbel Hakobyan — were convicted for their parts in the scam late last year.
The scheme, which stretches back to 2013, involved soliciting money through the mail using a pair of fake companies that offered potential victims trademark-infringement monitoring and help with registering a trademark in return for $385.
For his part in the scheme, Department of Justice officials said Yagubyan helped launder the money by instructing bank employees to open fake accounts, where the money collected from the mailers would then be deposited.
In a statement, the Department of Justice said the funds were then used to purchase gold. Darbinyan also paid Yagubyan a percentage of the laundered money.
"Yagubyan, in turn, made payments and promises of promotion to subordinates to induce them to conduct the fraudulent transactions," according to the statement.
Wells Fargo eventually discovered the bogus accounts, and the former manager tried to keep them open. Yagubyan was then arrested this past July.
He is scheduled to appear in court on May 22 for sentencing.
Grant Gordon, email@example.com