News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Feb. 15, 2011

THREE CALIFORNIA MEN SENTENCED TO FEDERAL PRISON FOR COUNTERFEITING CREDIT CARDS

WICHITA, KAN. – Three California men arrested in Kansas with 247 counterfeit Visa debit cards have been sentenced to federal prison, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

The three men appeared today in U.S. District Court in Wichita:


Adis Poghosyan, 29, Glendale, Calif., was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.
Vachagan Baghdasaryan, 25, Los Angeles, Calif., was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.
Artour Hakobyan, 27, Glendale, Calif., was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.

Each of them pleaded guilty to one count of possession of counterfeit debit cards. In their pleas, they admitted that on April 2, 2010, a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper stopped them as they were traveling eastbound through Thomas County. Baghdasaryan was a passenger in a pearl colored Mercedes driven by Poghosyan. Hakobyan was with another man in a black Mercedes. According to the trooper’s radar, both vehicles were moving at 92 miles per hour.

In the black Mercedes, troopers found an MSR206U, a device used to read and write data on the magnetic strip on the back of credit and debit cards, along with software for reading magnetic strips. The device was used to manufacture the counterfeit debit cards.

Co-defendant Haykaz Mansuryan, 21, Glendale, Calif., pleaded guilty and is set for sentencing Feb. 17.

Grissom commended the Kansas Highway Patrol, the U.S. Secret Service and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Metzger for their work on the case.