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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Indiana

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hogsett Announces Conviction By Jury Of Local Businessman On Fraud Charges

U.S. Attorney’s Office successfully prosecutes Fishers man who defrauded businesses of hundreds of thousands of dollars

INDIANAPOLIS – Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, announced today the conviction of Hrong Arman Gasparian, 67, of Fishers. Gasparian was convicted of 10 counts of wire fraud after a three-day jury trial before U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker.

“Fraud is theft. It takes money out of the hands of hard-working, honest Hoosiers who are just trying to make a living,” said Hogsett.

Gasparian claimed he was a loan broker who could secure funding for businesses and non-profits. He was convicted for his involvement in two fraudulent schemes that swindled prospective borrowers of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The first scheme involved Bell’s Chapel Church in Indianapolis. Gasparian told members seeking financing to rebuild the church that he would be able to secure them a $3 million grant but would need $365,000 for earnest money and $35,000 non-refundable fee for Gasparian to broker the deal. He told Bell’s Chapel he would put the money in an escrow account, and the refundable portion would be returned upon securing the grant. Gasparian instead spent the $400,000, never securing the grant to Bell’s Chapel and never refunding the earnest money.

In the second scheme Gasparian was convicted of fraudulent behavior which involved two Indianapolis-area businessmen seeking to secure financing for a new construction project. Gasparian assured them he could secure several million dollars in financing for them, but needed $200,000 in earnest money and $25,000 for his brokering fee. Like the members of Bell’s Chapel, the businessmen never received a loan, nor were they returned the refundable earnest money that had given to Gasparian.

“I am proud to say this was a true team effort,” Hogsett said. “Together with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and our federal and local law enforcement partners, we worked to prosecute and hold accountable an individual who preyed upon his fellow Hoosiers.”

This case is the result of a collaborative effort by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Investigators with the FBI provided key information in securing Gasparian’s conviction.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Winfield D. Ong, who prosecuted the case for the government, Gasparian’s sentence could be up to 20 years in federal prison with fines of up to $250,000 for each of the 10 counts of his conviction. He may also be sentenced to serve multiple years of supervised release. A sentencing date will likely come in the next three months. Until his sentencing, Gasparian is under a court order that restricts him from engaging in financial transactions.

Updated January 26, 2015