Fishers fraudster receives 2-year prison sentence

A Fishers man has been sentenced to two years in federal prison after being convicted of 10 counts of wire fraud in schemes that included stealing $400,000 from an Indianapolis church, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Friday.

Hrond Arman Gasparian, 69, was convicted in June for his involvement in two separate but related schemes.

“Fraud is stealing,” said Josh J. Minkler, acting United States attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “It is simply taking money from hardworking, honest individuals and putting it in the hands of a thief. In this case, the thief victimized a church. You can’t get any lower than that.”

Gasparian defrauded the Bells Chapel Church in Indianapolis of $400,000 by telling them he was a broker for a “humanitarian fund” that could issue them a $3 million grant to be used to rebuild their church after it was destroyed by a fire in 2008.

Gasparian took a $365,000 payment as a refundable “commitment fee,” and a $35,000 fee to broker the deal, but never delivered the grant or a refund, federal officials said. He instead spent the money.

In the second scheme, Gasparian defrauded two Indianapolis businessmen who were seeking to secure financing for a construction project. He took $200,000 in earnest money and a $25,000 brokering fee from the men, but never produced a loan, officials said.

Gasparian faces two years of supervised release after his sentence, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Winfield D. Ong, who prosecuted the case for the government.

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