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Press Release

South Lake Tahoe Man Indicted for Impersonating a Federal Officer

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment on Thursday against Anton Andreyevich Iagounov, 38, of South Lake Tahoe, charging him with falsely impersonating a federal officer, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, Iagounov pretended to be a federal law enforcement agent by creating false investigative documents, which purported to be sent by a federal agent, in an attempt to obtain government documents and other sensitive information. On July 5, 2022, Iagounov sent a search warrant that he created to the U.S. Capitol Police, falsely claiming it was signed by a Special Agent of the NASA Office of the Inspector General (NASA-OIG) and appearing to be authorized by the Chief District Judge for the District of Columbia. On July 11, 2022, Iagounov again pretended to be a NASA-OIG agent, created a fake search warrant, and emailed it to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.  He sent it from an email address with an internet domain that he owned and had named to look like a government agency’s internet domain. On July 18, 2022, Iagounov again sent the fake search warrant, purporting to be signed by the same fictitious NASA-OIG agent, and sent it to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Georgia.  Finally, on July 24, 2022, Iagounov faxed a letter, under the name of a real NASA employee, to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, claiming that an exigent circumstance required a judge’s signature on a non-existent search warrant immediately.  The letter included an email address for the agent that belonged to Iagounov.  All these documents were identified as suspicious by the courts and federal agencies to which they were sent.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the NASA Office of the Inspector General, with assistance by the South Lake Tahoe Police Department and the Carson City Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney James Conolly is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Iagounov faces a maximum statutory penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine, per count of conviction. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated May 3, 2024