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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 28, 1990
A federal court jury in Los Angeles, after confirming the convictions of four men accused of laundering $350 million in drug profits through jewelry companies, was ordered Thursday to resume deliberations on undecided counts. The jury on Wednesday found Nazareth Andonian, his brother, Vahe Andonian, and Juan Carlos Seresi guilty of conspiring to launder money. However, the panel was dismissed before it could confirm the verdicts and make them official. That confirmation took place Thursday.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 28, 1990
A federal court jury in Los Angeles, after confirming the convictions of four men accused of laundering $350 million in drug profits through jewelry companies, was ordered Thursday to resume deliberations on undecided counts. The jury on Wednesday found Nazareth Andonian, his brother, Vahe Andonian, and Juan Carlos Seresi guilty of conspiring to launder money. However, the panel was dismissed before it could confirm the verdicts and make them official. That confirmation took place Thursday.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 1990 | RONALD L. SOBLE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A record-setting trial of more than seven months, in which nine defendants are accused of conspiring to launder about $350 million in drug money through a business in Los Angeles' downtown jewelry district, appeared nearly ready to go to the jury Wednesday. The case, which grew out of a lengthy federal investigation code-named "Operation Polar Cap," has set the record for the longest criminal trial in Los Angeles' federal courthouse, according to a spokesperson for the U.S. attorney.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 27, 1990 | RONALD L. SOBLE and EDWARD J. BOYER, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Four men were convicted in Los Angeles federal court Wednesday of laundering $350 million in drug money through jewelry companies doing business in the city's downtown jewelry district. A U.S. District Court jury convicted brothers Nazareth and Vahe Andonian and Argentine gold dealer Raul Silvio Rivas, the alleged mastermind of the scheme, of 25 counts of money laundering.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 11, 1989 | KIM MURPHY, Times Staff Writer
One of the accused ringleaders in a $1-billion cocaine money laundering operation was mistakenly released from prison over his own repeated protests, authorities said Friday. What's more, Vahe Andonian was turned away by court officials the next day for more than three hours when he attempted to turn himself in, even as federal agents rushed to his La Crescenta house in an attempt to locate him, his attorney said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 27, 1990 | RONALD L. SOBLE and EDWARD J. BOYER, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Four men were convicted in Los Angeles federal court Wednesday of laundering $350 million in drug money through jewelry companies doing business in the city's downtown jewelry district. A U.S. District Court jury convicted brothers Nazareth and Vahe Andonian and Argentine gold dealer Raul Silvio Rivas, the alleged mastermind of the scheme, of 25 counts of money laundering.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 12, 1991
A man who pleaded guilty in a drug money laundering scheme based in the downtown Los Angeles jewelry district was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison. U.S. District Judge William D. Keller sentenced Carlos Desoretz, 43, who had pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to launder money. Desoretz testified for the prosecution against other defendants. Keller last month sentenced brothers Nazareth and Vahe Andonian, and Raul Vivas, to 505 years each in prison.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 21, 1991
Four of the five men convicted of laundering $316 million in drug money through the downtown Los Angeles jewelry district could face life sentences, and the ringleader could be fined nearly $8 million, a federal judge said Tuesday. However, U.S. District Judge William D. Keller delayed sentencing the five men until this afternoon so he could review the federal sentencing guidelines.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 5, 1991 | HENRY WEINSTEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A jury rendered its final verdicts Friday in the longest criminal trial in the history of the Los Angeles federal courthouse by convicting a Sylmar man of participating in a ring that laundered $350 million through the downtown Los Angeles jewelry district. But a mistrial was declared on a charge that he and four other defendants conspired to aid and abet drug distribution. Ruben Saini, 43, of Sylmar was convicted of 22 felony counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 22, 1991 | HENRY WEINSTEIN and PENELOPE McMILLAN, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
A federal district court judge Wednesday meted out prison terms totaling 505 years to each of four men convicted of involvement in a money-laundering ring that funneled more than $300 million through the downtown Los Angeles jewelry district. A fifth defendant was given a 27-year term. The five men were found guilty last year of numerous felonies in a case called "Operation Polar Cap," one of the largest money-laundering investigations in U.S. history.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 1990 | RONALD L. SOBLE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A record-setting trial of more than seven months, in which nine defendants are accused of conspiring to launder about $350 million in drug money through a business in Los Angeles' downtown jewelry district, appeared nearly ready to go to the jury Wednesday. The case, which grew out of a lengthy federal investigation code-named "Operation Polar Cap," has set the record for the longest criminal trial in Los Angeles' federal courthouse, according to a spokesperson for the U.S. attorney.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 11, 1989 | KIM MURPHY, Times Staff Writer
One of the accused ringleaders in a $1-billion cocaine money laundering operation was mistakenly released from prison over his own repeated protests, authorities said Friday. What's more, Vahe Andonian was turned away by court officials the next day for more than three hours when he attempted to turn himself in, even as federal agents rushed to his La Crescenta house in an attempt to locate him, his attorney said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 18, 1990 | HENRY WEINSTEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A federal court jury Monday acquitted two sisters of conspiracy and money-laundering charges in a case involving "Operation Polar Cap," a massive drug and currency investigation focused in Los Angeles' downtown jewelry district. The jurors found Joyce Momjdian, 25, and Zepur Moroyan, 22, both of La Crescenta, not guilty of 26 charges lodged against them in a 1989 indictment.
NEWS
March 8, 1989 | From Staff and Wire Reports
A federal grand jury today indicted 33 wholesale jewelers and associates in Los Angeles' downtown jewelry district on charges of running a $1-billion cocaine money laundering ring, the largest ever smashed by the government. U.S. Atty. Robert Bonner, who announced the indictments, said the government had also filed civil complaints aimed at seizing $80 million in property owned by the defendants--including a $17-million, 10-story building in the heart of the downtown jewelry district.
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