A LA court clerk faces charges of obstructing justice by selling secret information to members of an organized crime syndicate.
According to the Smoking Gun, The U.S. District Court employee, Nune Gevorkyan, and her convicted felon husband, Oganes Koshkaryan, face accusations of selling sealed court documents detailing upcoming arrests and raids by law enforcement targeting an Armenian Power gang.
The schemed unfolded after a leader of the Armenian Power gang began cooperating with officials in exchange for a reduced sentence. The unnamed informant is a convicted felon with a rap sheet including numerous violent crime convictions. The informant was one of 90 Armenian gang members indicted last year on a variety of charges including racketeering, extortion, kidnapping and narcotics distribution.
The informant told the FBI that days before agents were to begin making arrest in the case, he was warned that prosecutors had filed a sealed indictment against members of the L.A. gang. The gang consisted of 200 members of mostly Armenian descent, but also contained members of other countries within the Soviet bloc. The gang has close ties to leaders of the Mexican Mafia and and African-American street gangs.
Upon receiving information of the upcoming arrests, the informant fled his home in mid-February of 2011. He stayed with family members in another city. Eventually the informant surrendered to agents and began cooperating with officials earlier this year.
The source told FBI agents he became aware of the Armenian Power arrests by a codefendant who claims he obtained the information from his cousin “Hovik”. The informant claims that the codefendant said he that “‘Hovik’ is married to a female working in the Federal Clerk’s office in Los Angeles”.
The informant also stated that the clerk provided secret information about federal charges filed against members of the 38th Street Gang, a Mexian crime crew.
The FBI was later able to identify “Hovik” as Koshkaryan. “Hovik” is common Armenian nickname for men named Oganes. After further investigation, investigators learned that Koshkaryan, 39, was married to Gervokyan who worked in the “Criminal Intak area” of the clerk’s office at U.S. District Court in LA for the past two years.
Koshkaryan previously served a year in prison following a 2001 arrest on health care fraud charges. Koshkaryan was also cited on numerous occasions for violating his parole.
Using the confidential informant, the FBI launched an undercover sting operation targeting Koshkaryan and Gevorkyan.The agents recorded Koshkaryan offering to get “confidential information from the court system”. He claimed that his source was a “lawyer”. On two separate occassion the FBI informant provided Koshkaryan with the name of a criminal associate. Koshkaryan then retrieved confidential information on the criminal associate for the informant. Each of the informant’s associates was an FBI target who had been named in criminal complaints and search warrants filed under the seal in the L.A. federal courthouse.
Some of the documents were even brought to the intake window where Gevorkyan “stamped and accepted the documents for filing”, according to FBI agent Cori Lyle’s August 14 affidavit. Gevorkyan had easy access to a wide range of confidential documents due to her position in the clerk’s office.
After the informant provided Koshkaryan with the criminal associate, Koshkaryan correctly reported back that the target was under investigation for credit card fraud and would soon be arrested. He also was able to describe to the informant the criminal’s history. Koshkaryan repeated the process with the informant seeking information on a second associate. During the encounter with the informant concerning the second associate, Koshkaryan bragged that “he learned about the Armenian Power criminal enterprise takedown before it was made public.”
The informant paid Koshkaryan $2000 in exchange for the information on the two criminals. Koshkaryan said he would be “sharing some of this money with the person who looked up the information for him,” according to the affidavit.
The FBI was able to link Gevorkyan to the crime by analyzing computer records revealing “a person using a log-in assigned to Gevorkyan” had accessed sealed court records for both of the informant’s criminal associates. Both searches were done the day after the informant provided Koshkaryan with the names of the criminal associates.
A recorded conversation shows Koshkaryan telling the informant to “make sure that no one discovered how the CI had learned about the impending arrests of Target One and Target Two”. The two men came to a mutual agreement to allow things to “cool down” before “additional confidential information” could be purchases.
Koshkaryan and Gevorkyan face charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice. Gevorkyan was released from jail on $120,000 bail. Koshkaryan is still being held in L.A.’s federal detention center.
As part of her release terms, Gevorkyan can have no contact with Armenian Power members or employees of the U.S. District Court clerk’s office. She also has to “surrender all access device cards, keys, passwords, or other items of access associated with” her job in the clerk’s office.
South Carolina Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you or a loved one is facing charges of obstructing justice or any other criminal charges, you need to contact a South Carolina criminal defense attorney. The South Carolina criminal defense attorneys at the Strom Law Firm will fight to get your charges reduced or potentially dismissed. Contact us today for a free consultation. 803.252.4800