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Contractors Nailed on State Income Tax Evasion ­ Restitution Ordered in Excess of $1.4 million

Released: August 5, 2009

Sacramento – Three contractors pleaded no contest today to felony state income tax evasion and their spouses pleaded no contest to misdemeanor counts of failure to file state income tax returns, the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) announced.

The following were originally arrested in 2007:

  • Sarkis Ter Abelian, aka Mike Terabelian, 43, and his wife, Alisa Oganyan, 34, of Burbank
  • Zohrab Mkhitarian, aka Rob Mkhitarian, 41, and his wife Marine Metspakyan, 34, of Burbank
  • Avetik Gyandzhyan, 39, and his wife Lilit Lusparian, 29, of Glendale

According to court documents, the three contractors billed for services not performed, routinely overcharged, and their work was substandard. The trio operated businesses providing plumbing, air conditioning, and electrical repairs and operated as:

  • Pick Red, Inc.
  • ZMA, Inc.
  • Mr. Repair, Inc.
  • Love My Home, Inc.
  • Cal Repairs, Inc.
  • USA Services, Inc.
  • 59 Minutes, Inc.
  • Nshan, Inc., and
  • DMC Advertising, Inc.

When the State Contractors License Board suspended their licenses, the three purchased or borrowed licenses in good standing belonging to others. In addition, the companies either failed to file their 2001 ­ 2004 state income tax returns or else filed returns claiming expenses that were the equivalent of the reported income.

Sentenced today were:

Name Counts Restitution Ordered Sentence
Sarkis Ter Abelian, aka Mike Terabelian 3 felony tax evasion $1.2 million owed jointly with Mkhitarian and $43,175 individually Delayed until August 2010. Sarkis paid $200,000 restitution today.
Alisa Oganyan, spouse 2 misdemeanor failure to file $10,552 1 year summary probation
Zohrab Mkhitarian 3 felony tax evasion $1.2 million jointly owed with Ter Abelian 4 years formal probation – cannot engage in any plumbing, electrical, air conditioning, or other contracting business.
Marine Metspakyan, spouse 2 misdemeanor failure to file $2,107 3 months summary probation
Avetik Gyandzhyan 2 felony tax evasion $60,337 3 years formal probation – cannot engage in any plumbing, electrical, air conditioning, or other contracting business.
Lilit Lusparayan, spouse 2 misdemeanor failure to file $7,953 1 year summary probation

Ter Abelian´s sentencing is delayed until August 2010. Ter Abelian is ordered to pay $75,000 monthly restitution beginning September 1, 2009.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson handed down the sentence in Department 108 of the Clara Shortridge Folz Justice Center. Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Dana Aratani prosecuted the case.