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Press Release

Leader Of “Pure Armenian Blood” Sentenced To Six Years In Prison For Racketeering And Multimillion-Dollar Fraud

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

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that NAREK MARUTYAN and SARO MOURADIAN, a/k/a “Paul Mouradian,” were sentenced today to six years and 10 months in prison, respectively, for their participation in a multi-year, coast-to-coast credit card fraud scheme run by a racketeering enterprise referred to as “Pure Armenian Blood” or “P.A.B.”  MARUTYAN, a leader of the P.A.B., previously pled guilty to participating in a racketeering conspiracy on June 12, 2023, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ona T. Wang, and MOURADIAN, who owned and operated a Florida-based business that was used by the P.A.B. to run sham credit card charges, previously pled guilty to participating in a conspiracy to commit access device fraud on August 17, 2023, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Katherine H. Parker.  U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero imposed today’s sentences.   

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Pure Armenian Blood’s members enriched themselves and their criminal associates for almost a decade through fraudulent schemes that involved stealing others’ identities and spending millions of dollars of other people’s money as though there were no consequences.  As a leader of the sophisticated, organized criminal enterprise, Narek Marutyan orchestrated these schemes and reaped the ill-gotten gains.  He now faces years in prison for his crime.  This prosecution reaffirms our unwavering commitment to combating organized crime in all its forms.”

According to the Indictment, public filings, and statements made during court proceedings:

Pure Armenian Blood was an organized criminal group operating under the direction and protection of an unindicted co-conspirator (“CC-1”), a “vor v zakone” or “vor,” which are Russian phrases translated roughly as “Thief-in-Law” or “Thief,” and which refer to an order of elite criminals from the former Soviet Union who receive tribute from other criminals, offer protection, and use their recognized status as a vor to adjudicate disputes among lower-level criminals.  Members and associates of Pure Armenian Blood operated under the direction and protection of CC-1, a vor of Armenian descent previously based in Los Angeles before being deported in or about 2018.  Pure Armenian Blood operated through groups of individuals, often with overlapping members or associates, dedicated to criminal aims, particularly identity theft, access device fraud, and credit card fraud, among others.  While Pure Armenian Blood exploited victims and the financial system in New York City, it had operations in various locations throughout the U.S. and abroad, including through the use of purportedly legitimate business entities operating under the control and in conjunction with members of P.A.B. at various points throughout the conspiracy.

As a leader of the P.A.B. in New York, MARUTYAN orchestrated P.A.B’s various illicit activities, including the use of stolen personal identifying information, fraudulently opening and exhausting lines of credit, making purchases at collusive businesses with counterfeit credit cards or credit cards that were fraudulently opened, selling goods purchased with those lines of credit for profit, and the falsification of documents to “clean” the credit of account holders in whose names the lines of credit were opened.

As the owner and operator of two of the collusive businesses used by the P.A.B. to facilitate the credit card fraud scheme, MOURADIAN used credit cards that had been fraudulently obtained to run sham charges for which no legitimate goods or services were provided in exchange.  He also provided personal identifying information of individuals that he knew to P.A.B. members, who used that information to fraudulently obtain additional credit cards that were used in furtherance of the fraud scheme.

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In addition to his prison term, MARUTYAN, 33, of Brooklyn, New York, was ordered to pay restitution of $4,258.999.79 and forfeiture of $4,258.999.79.  MOURADIAN, 40, of Hollywood, Florida, was ordered to pay restitution of $517,502.00 and forfeiture of $50,190.00.  In addition to MARUTYAN and MOURADIAN, five other co-defendants have pled guilty and been sentenced, and one other co-defendant has pled guilty but has not yet been sentenced, as set forth below.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding work of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Eurasian Organized Crime Squad, as well as the FBI’s New Jersey, Los Angeles, and Miami offices, Homeland Security Investigations, the New York City Police Department, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and United States Customs and Border Protection. 

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation.  OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s Illicit Finance & Money Laundering Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Deininger is in charge of the prosecution.




Narek Marutyan

Racketeering Conspiracy

6 Years

Albert Marutyan

Racketeering Conspiracy

51 Months

Davit Yeghoyan

Racketeering Conspiracy

45 Months

Mikayel Yeghoyan

Racketeering Conspiracy

41 Months

Saro Mouradian

Access Device Fraud

10 Months

Zaven Yerkaryan

Access Device Fraud


Vahe Hovhannisyan

Travel Act Money Laundering

364 Days

Gohar Illangyozyan

Making False Statements to Law Enforcement

Time Served


Nicholas Biase, Lauren Scarff
(212) 637-2600

Updated March 14, 2024

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-095