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Press Release

Two Men Convicted of Using Credit and Debit Card Skimmers at Gas Stations to Steal Nearly $200,000 in Fresno and Southern California

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

FRESNO, Calif. — Akop Dongelyan, 47, of Glendale, and Artak Vardanyan, 40, of Burbank, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to commit credit and debit card fraud, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court records, in November 2015, Dongelyan and Vardanyan went on a crime spree in Fresno and Southern California where they stole multiple victims’ credit and debit card information through skimmers placed at gas stations. They then used that information to make counterfeit credit and debit cards and fraudulently withdraw $198,000 from the victims’ accounts.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Barton is prosecuting the case.

Dongelyan is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 6, 2023, and Vardanyan is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 16, 2023, by U.S. District Judge Ana de Alba. They each face a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and $250,000 fine. The actual sentences, however, will 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.

Updated July 10, 2023

Financial Fraud