Glass Emporium Owner Mehrdad Hakimian to Begin Prison Sentence on September 3 for Insurance Fraud Charges
July 7, 2010

Glass Emporium owner Mehrdad Hakimian will begin serving a 42-month federal prison sentence on September 3 for charges related to insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, wire fraud, obstruction of justice and more, according to a statement from the U.S. District Attorney's office in Oakland, Calif. The 42-month prison sentence, which is accompanied by a $150,000 fine, was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge D. Lowell Jensen during a hearing last Friday, July 2. (CLICK HERE for related story.)

Hakimian, 48, originally was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit visa fraud, visa fraud, harboring illegal aliens, and obstruction of justice. He had pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit visa fraud, seven counts of visa fraud, and two counts of harboring illegal aliens in early February, and went to trial on remaining charges in late February, and was found guilty by a jury of all remaining charges, including conspiring to commit wire fraud, nine counts of wire fraud, and one count of obstruction of justice. (CLICK HERE for related story.)

"During the trial, the evidence showed that Hakimian directed employees in the Oakland corporate office, as well as managers at some of the automobile glass replacement company's 60 stores throughout the country, to falsify invoices sent to insurance companies for the replacement of windshields and other automobile glass, causing losses of more than $400,000," reads a statement from the U.S. District Attorney's Office. "The evidence further established that, following a search of the corporate office on December 19, 2006, that was authorized by a federal judge, Hakimian obstructed justice by concealing and destroying documents for the purpose of impeding an ongoing FBI investigation into him and his corporation."

With regard to the visa fraud and harboring illegal alien charges, the U.S. District Attorney's office says that Hakimian "admitted that he knowingly submitted several specialty work visa applications that contained false material statements to federal agencies on behalf of foreign employees [and] … that he concealed two undocumented employees from immigration authorities."

Hakimian was not ordered to pay restitution, because he previously reached a settlement with State Farm, and has made payments to approximately 77 insurance companies impacted by the fraud, according to the U.S. District Attorney's office.

The day before the sentence was issued, Hakimian issued a letter to the company's Board of Directors saying he would be stepping down as president. Officials from Glass Emporium, which owns Glassmaster and Glasspro locations throughout the United States (though not those in the Charleston, S.C., area), declined to comment on Hakimian's decision to step down.

"Our company officially has no comment at this time," said an unidentified representative at the company's headquarters this afternoon.

At press time, Hakimian's attorney, William Osterhoudt, was not available for comment.

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