Los Angeles-area man who allegedly led prescription drug ring apprehended on new charges of fraudulently procuring United States citizenship

Express News

By ICE Release|Updated: August 08, 2018

LOS ANGELES– A Burbank guy who operated a string of presumably sham medical centers– and who currently faces federal charges of using the centers to orchestrate enormous narcotics plan– was detained today on brand-new charges that he unlawfully procured United States citizenship.

Armen Simonyan 44, who was complimentary on bond in the narcotics-trafficking case, was detained after being named in a two-count indictment returned today by a federal grand jury. The new indictment charges Simonyan with illegal procurement of United States citizenship and making a false declaration on a passport application.

The benefit scams examination was carried out by U.S. Migration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Examinations (HSI) and the United States Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, and was conducted under the aegis of HSI’s File and Advantage Scams Task Force.

Today’s indictment describes Simonyan’s 15-year history of securing United States migration advantages via scams and identity theft. Simonyan then looked for asylum in the United States, presumably cooking up an incorrect narrative that he was born in Azerbaijan to moms and dads of supposed mixed Armenian-Azerbaijani nationality; that his household suffered ethnic violence, including the murder of both his parents; and that he fled to the United States by means of Russia.

If founded guilty of the immigration scams charge, Simonyan will lose his United States citizenship.

The indictment also charges Simonyan with pushing his application for a United States passport after he acquired citizenship. The supposed incorrect statements related to his place of birth, his date of birth, and his claim that his mother was deceased.

Simonyan was previously prosecuted in August 2017 on charges that he and other conspirators disseminated more than 2 million tablets of controlled prescription drugs to the black market, primarily oxycodone and hydrocodone. Simonyan is currently scheduled to go on trial in that case on February 12, 2019.

In the migration fraud case, Simonyan is anticipated to be arraigned on the indictment this afternoon in U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles.

If convicted of the charges in the new indictment, Simonyan would deal with a statutory optimum of Twenty Years in prison, in addition to the statutory optimum of 60 years in federal prison that he faces in the narcotics case.

Considerable assistance in this case was supplied by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers’ Fraud Detection and National Security unit, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Being Services’ Office of Inspector General.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Lawyer Benjamin Barron and Jamie Lang of the The Mob Drug Enforcement Task Force.