Glass Emporium Owner Mehrdad Hakimian Found Guilty; Says Auditing Procedures Have Been Put in Place to Correct "Issues Underlying the Charges"

March 19, 2010

A jury found Glass Emporium owner Mehrdad Hakimian guilty on all counts yesterday in the charges filed against him related to insurance fraud and the harboring of illegal aliens, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office lead attorney on the case, Stephen Corrigan (CLICK HERE for related story).

Hakimian is scheduled to be sentenced on June 4. The charges filed against him, as the result of an investigation by the FBI, include conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, harboring illegal aliens, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to commit visa fraud, and visa fraud.

Hakimian issued the following statement regarding the trial to™/AGRR magazine.

"Glass Emporium staff and management are disappointed in the outcome of this trial, but everyone associated with the company respects the jury's decision," he says.

In the faxed statement Hakimian also says the company has changed its operating procedures since the FBI investigation began.

"Since the investigation began at the end of 2006, Glass Emporium has implemented strict auditing procedures and investigation to correct the issues underlying the charges and are confident that these problems are resolved and will not occur," he says. "We have reimbursed insurance companies involved for any errors and we continue to have good working relationships with them." (CLICK HERE for the full text of the statement.)

In the details of the fraud charges, Hakimian was accused of directing the company's employees to bill insurance companies "for the cost of more expensive windshields than those installed … knowing that less expensive windshields had been installed." Likewise, the court charged him with directing employees to also separately charge insurance companies for mouldings, clips and installation materials, "even when those costs were included in the cost of the windshields."

With regard to the obstruction of justice charges, Hakimian is alleged to have "corruptly alter[ed], destroy[ed], mutilate[d], and conceal[ed] documents and records, namely, glass invoices, glass work orders, and electronically stored invoice records, with the intent to impair their integrity and availability for use in an official proceeding," according to documents filed in the case.

With respect to the illegal immigration charges, Hakimian is said to have encouraged certain employees whom he knew were illegal aliens to work from home in an effort to avoid being discovered by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), according to the indictment issued against him.

Two fellow employees, whom Hakimian is said to have directed in these efforts, Bobby Guinto and Aldy Antonio, pleaded guilty previously, and Glass Emporium vice president Emma DeGuzman was scheduled to be on trial at the same time as Hakimian, but pleaded guilty just before it was to begin to the charges related to harboring illegal aliens, at which point the fraud charges against here were dismissed. (CLICK HERE for related story.)

Glass Emporium owns both Glass Pro and Glass Masters and has locations throughout the United States.

Proceedings in the trial, held in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland, Calif., began on February 22.

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