Fugitive from the District of Colorado arrested in the Republic of Georgia
DENVER – Mr. Karen Nikolyan, age 35, and a citizen of Armenia, was arrested this weekend at the Tbilisi airport in the Republic of Georgia after flying from Istanbul, Turkey, announced United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn. Nikolyan had been a fugitive since 2008, when he fled the District of Colorado after he pleaded guilty to bank fraud in federal court. He was arrested in the Republic of Georgia by local authorities with support from United States federal law enforcement.
On June 6, 2007, Nikolyan was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver for a bank fraud scheme. In that case, beginning on April 11, 2007, and continuing through May 11, 2007, the defendant devised a scheme of making, in a short period of time and before liens were of record, multiple applications for home equity in a condominium owned by the defendant located in Aurora, Colorado. A total of 7 financial institutions were defrauded by over $600,000. On March 19, 2008, he pleaded guilty and was free on bond awaiting sentencing. He was scheduled to be sentenced on December 16, 2008. Nikolyan failed to appear for his sentencing hearing. Instead he fled the country. Thanks to the work of the U.S. Secret Service, FBI and other agencies, Nikolyan was found as he made reservations to fly from Turkey to the Republic of Georgia.
“Today’s arrest is due to the tireless work of our law enforcement partners at the Secret Service and the FBI, as well as our prosecutors and those at main justice,” said United States Attorney Jason Dunn. “We commend their hard work and long memory, ensuring that justice will be served after 11 years.”
The FBI’s Office of the Legal Attaché in Georgia and the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs (OIA) worked quickly to obtain a “Joint Declaration On Extradition” between the Republic of Georgia and the United States, and OIA submitted a request for provisional arrest. Now that Nikolyan has been arrested, the two countries are working on extraditing Nikolyan to the United States to face the sentencing hearing from which he fled.
This matter was investigated with the U.S. Secret Service. The FBI and other law enforcement agencies assisted in the investigation and location of the defendant. AUSA Bob Brown is prosecuting the defendant.