Brothers sentenced to jail time, probation in scam to give packer a load of bull

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | Thursday, January 30, 2014

Two brothers from California have been sentenced for their roles 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. The sentencing was ordered by U.S. District Judge Monti Belot on Jan. 27.

In exchange for pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, Oganes Nagapetian was sentenced to federal prison for one year and one day, with two years’ supervised release to follow. Tigran Nagapetian received one year of probation for pleading guilty to the lesser offense of aiding and abetting by lying to authorities about his brother’s actions.

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.

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.

“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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