Man sentenced in murder plot
LOS ANGELES -- A man was sentenced Monday to nine years in prison in a
murder-for-hire plot that included FBI informants and a staged death.
Garen Zakarian, 37, was ordered to serve the time consecutively with
an 85-year term he is serving in another case, officials said.
Zakarian pleaded guilty Oct. 22 of trying to hire hit men to kill
Arthur Simonian in 1999. His brother, Archak, 32, of Glendale, also
pleaded guilty and will be sentenced June 10.
They offered Simonian and his wife, Kristine Arutunyan of Glendale,
$50,000 to falsify testimony for Garen Zakarian. He is in prison for the
1994 robbery of Glendale travel agent Benita Mikhailian, who was shot to
After Simonian balked at giving a false alibi, the Zakarians began to
arrange his murder, prosecutors said.
The Zakarians agreed to pay $10,000 and asked for a photo of the dead
body as proof. The “hit men” went to FBI agents, who told Simonian and
staged his death.
Arutunyan was sentenced Feb. 11 to three years probation for lying to
the FBI about her relationship with Archak Zakarian.