LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A lawyer with law firms in Beverly Hills agreed Tuesday to plead guilty to five federal crimes, including bribing two federal agents, to provide assistance in gathering sensitive law enforcement information.
Edgar Sargsyan, 39, of Calabasas, has been charged with two cases of bribing an official, two cases of false statements to federal investigators and conspiracies to commit bank fraud, the U.S. Attorney said.
In an opposition agreement filed with the Los Angeles Federal Supreme Court, Sargsyan admitted paying tens of thousands of dollars between 2015 and 2017 to a special agent at Homeland Security Investigations and a special agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
Sargsyan paid the HSI agent checks of at least $ 32,000 and cash of at least $ 45,000 in exchange for the support, which included the HSI agent who searched law enforcement databases to obtain information that he then reported according to the document passed on to Sargsyan.
According to court records, the HSI agent has also modified a U.S. Department of Homeland Security database to increase the likelihood that a foreign law firm Sargsyan lawyer may enter the country.
The defense agreement also stated that the HSI agent had prepared a document on the HSI letterhead to unsuccessfully attempt to admit one of Sargsyan's relatives to the United States.
Sargsyan also admitted to paying the FBI agent monthly bribes of up to $ 10,000 in return for "protection" as of 2015. This included running queries in law enforcement databases and warning Sargsyan of people who were the subject of criminal investigations.
Prosecutors say the FBI agent who worked at the San Francisco office had accepted payments for trips to southern California, where he stayed in Sargsyan-paid luxury hotel rooms. The FBI agent also allegedly accepted a $ 36,000 Sargsyan racing motorcycle as a "bonus" for performing database checks on a specific person.
Sargsyan also admitted to having given the FBI agent a check for $ 30,000 that looked like a payment to the agent's business.
Sargsyan also agreed to plead guilty to making false statements to federal investigators and participating in a conspiracy that betrayed financial institutions by fraudulently obtaining credit cards on behalf of foreigners who previously had a J1 visitor visa were in the U.S.
After the credit cards were issued by the financial institutions, Sargsyan and his co-conspirator calculated "purchases", including more than $ 941,000 that Sargsyan personally calculated from two companies he controlled, the Pillar Law Group and the Regdalin Group.
The five crime counts provide for a maximum sentence of up to 50 years in federal prison. Sargsyan is expected to appear in court in downtown Los Angeles for the first time on June 9.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)