FISHERS, Ind. - A Fishers businessman has been convicted of federal charges of wire fraud for swindling clients out of more than $600,000.
The U.S. Attorney's Office announced on Thursday that Hrong Arman Gasparian, 67, of Fishers, had been convicted of 10 counts of wire fraud in federal court.
The charges stem from two fraudulent schemes in which Gasparian claimed he was a loan broker who could secure funding for businesses and non-profits.
In the first scheme, Gasparian told members of Bell's Chapel Church in Indianapolis that he would be able to secure them a $3 million grant to rebuild the church, but that he would need $365,000 for earnest money and a $35,000 non-refundable fee.
Prosecutors said Gasparian spent the entire $400,000. Bell's Chapel Church never received a grant, nor did it receive a refund of its earnest money.
Gasparian was also convicted of a second scheme involving two Indianapolis businessmen. Prosecutors said Gasparian told the men he could secure several million dollars in financing for them, but needed $200,000 in earnest money and $25,000 for his brokering fee.
"Fraud is theft. It takes money out of the hands of hardworking, honest Hoosiers who are just trying to make a living," said U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett.
Hogsett said the investigation was a joint effort between the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI.
Prosecutors said Gasparian could face up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each of the 10 counts he was convicted of.