POSTED: 01:16 p.m. HST, Jul 01, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 01:42 p.m. HST, Jul 01, 2013
A state judge sentenced this morning Akop Tadevosovich Changryan, the second of two men found guilty of stealing debit and credit card information at self-service gasoline pumps on Oahu, to 20 years in prison.
The 20-year term is the mandatory sentence for first-degree identity theft.
Circuit Judge Michael Wilson also ordered Changryan to pay $157,654 restitution to the six Hawaii banks whose 199 customers had money stolen from their accounts.
Changryan, 29, chose not to make a statement before Wilson sentenced him. His lawyer William Harrison said Changryan is appealing his conviction.
During trial in March, prosecutor Chris Van Marter showed the jurors security video of what he said was Changryan installing card skimming devices in gasoline pumps at Aloha Island Mini Mart stations in September 2011, then returning two weeks later to retrieve the devices.
Wilson sentenced last month Changryan’s co-defendant, Vardan Kagramany, to the same 20-year prison term and ordered him to also repay the affected Hawaii banks the $157,654 the banks reimbursed their customers.
Van Marter said Kagramany acted as lookout while Changryan installed and retrieved the skimming devices.
He said both men, from Glendale, Calif., are members of a criminal organization in Los Angeles known as Armenia Power, which has a history of using skimming devices to steal debit and credit card information.
A state judge in California sentenced Changryan in June last year to 16 months in prison for seven counts of identity theft he committed in September 2011 after he returned from Hawaii.
Van Marter said it was the U.S. Secret Service that identified Changryan and Kagramany from gas station security video, tracked the men to California and secured the extradition for trial here.