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Press Release

California Men Sentenced for Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Hampshire

            CONCORD - Vahan Aghajanyan, 26, of Glendale, California, and Garnik Saroyan, 27, of Sun Valley, California, were sentenced for conspiracy to commit bank fraud, Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley announced today.  

            According to court documents and statements made in court, in October of 2018, Aghajanyan and Saroyan traveled from California to New Hampshire and Maine to use fraudulent debit cards encoded with other persons’ bank account information to make ATM withdrawals and purchase postal money orders.  On October 31, 2018, postal employees in New Hampshire and Maine reported suspicious transactions involving the two men.  The York, Maine police department located and stopped their vehicle.  Three cell phones were seized from the men and a federal search warrant was sought to search the phones.  A search of the phones revealed a map of post office locations in New Hampshire and photographs of Aghajanyan holding stacks of cash and postal money orders.

            Bank records and surveillance videos showed that, on at least 15 occasions, Aghajanyan or Saroyan used a fraudulent debit card to check the balance of a bank account at an ATM.  Subsequently, the card was used to purchase a postal money order at a post office in New Hampshire.  Records confirm that between October 25, 2018, and October 31, 2018, the two men withdrew at least $2,673 from other persons’ bank accounts and purchased at least 35 postal money orders worth more than $22,000 using fraudulent debit cards. 

            Aghajanyan and Saroyan previously pleaded guilty on March 18, 2021.  Aghajanyan was sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison.  Saroyan was sentenced to time served and three years of supervised release with 6 months home detention.  In addition, the court ordered full restitution in the amount of $25,533.65.

            “Fraudsters who come to New Hampshire to commit crimes will be held accountable for their criminal actions,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Farley.  “As this case demonstrates, we work closely with our law enforcement partners to seek justice for victims of financial crimes.” 

            This matter was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service with assistance from the York, Maine, Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew T. Hunter.


Updated August 13, 2021

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 21-153