Brothers enter guilty pleas in scam to give packer a load of bull

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Two brothers from California have pleaded guilty to their role in a failed beef heist from a Kansas slaughterhouse, according to documents filed in federal court.

Oganes Nagapetian, 53, and his brother, Tigran Nagapetian, 50, both of North Hollywood, Calif., were charged in April with conspiracy in a November 2011 plot to steal a load of beef worth about $82,700 from a Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. plant in Holcomb, Kan.

The brothers each reached plea agreements on Nov. 5 with the U.S. District Attorney in Kansas.

Both were charged with conspiracy to commit interstate shipment fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. In addition to those charges, Oganes Nagapetian was also charged with two additional counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count each of production of a false identification document and possession of false documents. Tigran Nagapetian was also charged with aiding and abetting. 

Oganes Nagapetian pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit interstate shipment fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of up to five years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and restitution. In exchange for his plea, the other charges will be dropped, and the prosecution will recommend a sentence on the low end of the applicable guideline range, according to the agreement.

The agreement also stipulates that Oganes Nagapetian will cooperate in the investigation of other unknown parties who may have assisted with the conspiracy.

According to the indictment, the brothers attempted to pass themselves off as a Pennsylvania trucking company, and faxed fraudulent documents to an Ohio freight broker so they would be hired to pick up the beef. The meat was supposed to be shipped to a wholesaler in Vernon, Calif.

Both men were apprehended on Nov. 4, 2011, when they attempted to pick up the trailer at the packing plant. The plea agreement states that the broker “became suspicious of the transaction” and notified the FBI.

Tigran Nagapetian pleaded guilty to one felony count of aiding and abetting, admitting his knowledge of his brother’s attempted wire fraud. The penalty is up to three years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

“When stopped by the Kansas Highway Patrol, Oganes and Tigran told the troopers they were going to Oklahoma to buy a semi-trailer to explain why they were in a ‘bobtail’ only, and didn't disclose that Oganes had dropped off a trailer in Holcomb to be loaded with packaged meat,” the plea agreement stated.

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