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