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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Glendale Man Who Schemed to Impersonate Dentists to Swindle Banks Out of $2.1 Million Sentenced to Over 3 Years in Federal Prison

          LOS ANGELES – A Glendale man who defrauded banks out of $2.1 million by conspiring to steal the identities of at least 11 dentists, opening sham dentist offices, and filing fraudulent claims to banks that offer lines of credit to dentists – was sentenced today to 37 months in federal prison.

          Ararat Yesayan, 39, was sentenced by United States District Judge Dolly M. Gee, who also ordered him to pay $2,019,738 in restitution, and who described Yesayan’s crimes as “outrageous.”

          Yesayan pleaded guilty in May 2019 to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

          From October 2010 until March 2014, Yesayan and his co-conspirators impersonated dentists by stealing personal identifying information, including dental license numbers. Yesayan and others acquired commercial office space to open what looked like real dental offices in the names of victim dentists, according to his plea agreement.

          Yesayan and others then submitted change of address requests to the Dental Board of California with the addresses of the newly opened sham dental office addresses so they would receive mail intended for the impersonated dentists. Using the victim dentists’ names, Yesayan and others applied for lines of credit offered by banks to dentists and, upon approval, submitted numerous fraudulent dental claims in the names of fake patients for procedures that were never performed.

          Once the claims were approved, money was wired to Yesayan-controlled bank accounts. The victim lenders included Citibank and GE Capital Retail Finance Bank (now Synchrony Bank), who suffered losses of at least $2.1 million.

          A second defendant in this case – Varooj Arakelian, 49, of Glendale – is scheduled to go on trial on June 23. Charges against a third defendant – Artin Sarkissians, 42, also of Glendale – are pending.

          The FBI investigated this matter.

          This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Julia S. Choe of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section.

Contact: 
Ciaran McEvoy Public Information Officer United States Attorney’s Office Central District of California (Los Angeles) (213) 894-4465
Press Release Number: 
20-045
Updated March 3, 2020