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ORC 11-11-14




Armenian Power gang leader gets 32 years; tied to $1 M credit card skimming at 99 Cent Only stores  A co-leader of the Armenian Power gang was handed a 32-year federal prison term Monday for multiple racketeering crimes, including extortion, bank fraud and operating a debit card skimming operation that siphoned more than $1 million from thousands of customers at 99 Cents Only stores across the Southland. Mher "Capone" Darbinyan, 39, of Valencia, showed no reaction as U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner pronounced sentence and set a restitution hearing for February. Darbinyan was an Armenian Power leader who operated a sophisticated bank fraud scheme that used middlemen and runners to deposit and cash hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent checks drawn on the accounts of elderly customers and jewelry businesses. He also orchestrated a scheme that involved the installation of skimmers in 99 Cents Only stores in Riverside, Whittier, Huntington Beach, San Diego and elsewhere that were used to steal customers' debit card numbers and PIN codes. Darbinyan was additionally found guilty of conspiring to extort funds from a member of the Armenian community using threats of violence. He also possessed, on two occasions, firearms and ammunition after having previously been convicted of felony grand theft for his role in a 2004 debit card fraud scheme. Klausner called the crimes in the case "heinous."

Fencing Operation: 3 with James Bond Gang ties, jeweler fence busted by Bergen Co, NJ Prosecutor's Strike Force  A joint investigation headed by the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office and involving Englewood and Teaneck police and several other law enforcement agencies led to the arrests last week of three accused burglars with reputed ties to the infamous James Bond Gang and a Queens man accused of buying jewelry they took in more than 30 break-ins in three counties. CLIFFVIEW PILOT broke the story last week of the arrests in Queens of three Teaneck men - Jamelle Singletary, 26, and Lawal Erskine and Jamal Sermon, both 30 - as they were fencing the goods in Queens. Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli elaborated tonight, while announcing the additional arrest of the alleged fence, David Tadjiev, 38, of Astoria. The burglars operated much the same way as their Bond Gang predecessors - only without a hi-tech rigged car that gave the original crew its name.

$35,000 purse stolen from Carmel, California boutique  At 4 a.m. on Nov. 4, all was quite in Carmel by the Sea until someone burst through an upscale store's window display and stole designer handbags. The clever crook knew what he or she was after in the Italian boutique Bottega Veneta, because one of the bags grabbed was worth $35,000. A Bottega Veneta employee said the purse was the last of its kind for sale in the United States. It was made out of a single pristine piece of crocodile. A search of Bottega Veneta's website shows the most expensive purse made of crocodile sells for $29,600, but special unique bags in certain stores go for higher price tags. Investigators believe the thief cased the Carmel Plaza store in advance because the smash-and-grab was pulled off in under 60 seconds. Police also suspect the person was part of an organized crime ring. Security cameras recorded the thief fleeing in a waiting vehicle, and the purses were long gone by the time police arrived. No arrests have been made.

Ocala, FL man leads Police on high speed chase; fleeing felony warrant for grand theft of baby formula  A high-speed chase that snaked through a residential neighborhood on Sunday night ended when the driver of a stolen car crashed the vehicle into a light pole. Karl Alphonso McLeod, 19, said he did not stop because he was wanted on a warrant for not appearing in court on a grand theft case in which he reportedly admitted to taking $1,500 in baby formula from Wal-Mart. He said half of the formula went to his baby and the other half he sold.

Three Suspects sought in $1,300 perfume theft from Ulta in Citrus Park, FL
Hillsborough County deputies are seeking three suspects in the theft of more than $1,300 in perfume and cologne from a beauty store in the Citrus Park area of Tampa last month. Deputies say one man and two women entered the Ulta store, at 12715 Citrus Park Plaza, around 9 p.m. on Oct. 28, and placed several bottles in their bags.

ORC 11-11-14
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