Man pleads not guilty to bank fraud

LOS ANGELES — A Glendale man pleaded not guilty Monday to two federal indictments alleging that he stole more than $400,000 from bank accounts and filed false tax returns.

Antoine David Haroutunian, 46, pleaded not guilty in a Los Angeles federal court. The two indictments were filed by a federal grand jury Sept. 2.

Haroutunian stole people’s account numbers, signatures and identification numbers while he worked as a customer service representative from 2001 to 2003 at Bank of America, according to the first indictment.

After he was fired from the bank, Haroutunian and others allegedly used the account information to impersonate an account holder to withdraw funds.

The location of the bank was not released due to an ongoing investigation, Internal Revenue Service spokesman Michael Moriarty said.

Haroutunian was indicted on 12 counts of bank fraud.

Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison and a fine of $1 million, officials said.

Bank of America lost more than $400,000 because of the scheme, officials said.

Haroutunian is scheduled to appear Oct. 28 before U.S. District Court Judge Robert Takasugi in a Los Angeles federal court for bank fraud charges, U.S. Attorney’s office spokesman Thom Mzorek said.

Haroutunian also was indicted on charges of filing five false tax returns in 2003 for gambling winnings at the Santa Anita and Hollywood race tracks.

He reportedly claimed he won more than $707,000, but instead lost $705,000.

Haroutunian alleged that $185,000 was withheld and was used to pay taxes on his gambling winnings.

He filed a false tax refund saying he was entitled to $183,345 of the withheld amount.

Haroutunian was arrested Sept. 3, a day after the indictments were filed against him.

He will appear Oct. 14 before U.S. District Court Judge George Wu in a Los Angeles federal court for tax fraud charges, Mzorek said.

The false tax return charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

He is being held without bail after United States Magistrate Judge Alicia Rosenberg said he posed a danger to the community.

If Haroutunian is convicted of identity theft, he could be sentenced to serve an additional two years consecutively with the charge of bank fraud, officials said.

He also is being investigated in connection with an investor fraud scheme during which investors lost more than $10 million.

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