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Armen Aivazian, owner of the Sayat Nova restaurant in Glendale, California, has been arrested and charged with four counts of felony insurance fraud, two counts of grand theft and one count of attempted grand theft.
According to DOI Fraud Investigators, on October 30, 1997, Aivazian filed a claim with Wawanesa Insurance Company alleging that his 1993 Mercedes 500 SEL had been vandalized. As a result, Wawanesa paid Aivazian $29,689.74 on this claim. The suspect then insured the same vehicle with Nationwide Insurance Company. On March 23, 1998, he filed a claim with Nationwide, alleging that the same Mercedes had been vandalized and the wheels had been stolen. Investigators compared claim photos taken by Wawanesa with those taken by Nationwide. They determined that the damage was the same and that Aivazian had never repaired the vehicle.
But it didn’t end there. Aivazian filed a second claim with Wawanesa after his 1989 Jaguar Vanden Plaz XJ6 was allegedly damaged in a July 23, 1998, traffic accident. Wawanesa paid Aivazian $8,020 after the car was declared a total loss. Investigators discovered, however, that the car was damaged when Aivazian purchased it and knowingly filed a claim for the same damage.
DOI Fraud Investigators found that Aivazian filed a third claim with Wawanesa in November of 1998, alleging that a 1992 Mercedes 500 SEL had been stolen. In support of his claim, Aivazian submitted a receipt in the amount of $5,675 for custom tires and wheels. Investigators learned that Aivazian not only altered the receipt but had also originally submitted the receipt to Nationwide as part of his March 23, 1998 claim. In addition, investigators later determined that Aivazian made false statements regarding a $5,800 stereo system that he had allegedly purchased and installed in the Mercedes.
The suspected serial fraudster could face up to five years in state prison and/or a maximum fine of $160,000. The Los Angeles County DA’s Office, Major Fraud Division, is prosecuting the case.
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