LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal courts employee and her husband have been charged with accessing and leaking confidential information to tip off suspected criminals before their arrest, including the takedown of an Armenian gang last year, authorities said Wednesday.
Nune Gevorkyan, 35, and Oganes Koshkaryan, 40, both of Los Angeles, were each charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice. If convicted, they face up to 20 years in prison. Phone messages left for their attorneys were not immediately returned.
Federal authorities said they believe Gevorkyan looked at sealed indictments before raids across Southern California in February 2011 that led to the arrests of more than 70 people associated with the Armenian Power gang. Most of the charges filed in those cases dealt with white-collar crimes.
One of the defendants, who is seeking a reduced sentence, told FBI agents that information about the takedown was known to some of those arrested.
“The cooperating defendant said that, as a result of this information, he/she fled his/her home the night before the arrests and stayed with family in another city,” according to court documents. The defendant later surrendered.
Authorities said Koshkaryan acted as an intermediary who promised he could get confidential information from the court system in exchange for cash. On at least two occasions, Koshkaryan delivered information from sealed court records to an FBI informant, authorities said.
Last month, the informant asked Koshkaryan for information related to a person who is currently under investigation, according to court documents. During a recorded conversation, Koshkaryan told the informant the person was going to be arrested soon, authorities said.
In another related instance where information was provided regarding another person, the informant paid Koshkaryan $2,000, an affidavit said.
A court records search by FBI agents revealed that a log-in assigned to Gevorkyan had accessed sealed court documents pertaining to the two ongoing investigations.
Last week, the informant told Koshkaryan the details obtained from the sealed documents were “gold.”
“Based on the information that Koshkaryan had provided to the informant, Target Two had already fled for his/her safety,” court documents showed.
Gevorkyan worked as a clerk where criminal documents are filed in downtown Los Angeles for the past two years. Her employment status is currently pending review.
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