A retired FBI agent who accepted at least $150,000 in bribes in exchange for divulging private information to Armenian organised crime figures in Los Angeles will be sentenced on Monday.
Babak Broumand, 56, of Lafayette, California, was convicted guilty of accepting bribes and money laundering last year in Los Angeles.
From January 1999 until shortly after search warrants were issued for his house and companies in 2018, Broumand functioned as an FBI special agent and was assigned to the FBI Field Office in San Francisco. He was in charge of conducting national security investigations.
Evidence presented during his 11-day trial revealed that between January 2015 and December 2018, Broumand accepted money, checks, flights on a private jet, a Ducati motorcycle, hotel stays, escorts, meals, and other benefits from Edgar Sargsyan, a Beverly Hills lawyer with connections to organised crime who had paid someone else to take the bar exam in his place.
Broumand conducted law enforcement database searches in exchange for bribes, and used the results of those searches to assist Sargsyan and his friends in avoiding prosecution and law enforcement oversight. Broumand specifically told Sargsyan whether a specific individual or business was the subject of a criminal investigation.
Broumand made it look like Sargsyan was an FBI source in order to hide the nature of their relationship. In order to create the impression that his database searches were valid, Broumand produced reports after the fact.
Sargsyan gave Broumand at least $150,000 in bribes, which included a Ducati motorcycle and accessories worth more than $36,000, in exchange for the unlawful inquiries. The payments were transferred into the accounts of Love Bugs LLC, a hair salon that removes lice that was founded in 2007 by Broumand and his wife.
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According to court documents, in May 2016, Broumand obstructed an FBI investigation into Felix Cisneros Jr., a dishonest special agent with Homeland Security Investigations who also had connections to Armenian criminals.
In two separate incidents, Cisneros, of Murrieta, was found guilty in federal court in Los Angeles. Cisneros’ efforts to facilitate the entry of a Mexican national associated with organised crime led to the first trial, which took place in 2018. In the past year, Cisneros’ efforts on behalf of Sargsyan led to the second trial.
The former HSI agent received a sentence of more than 10 years in federal prison in November for receiving cash and other perks to assist an Armenian organised crime figure, including taking official actions to facilitate the entry of two foreign people.
Sargsyan will be sentenced in Los Angeles next month after entering a guilty plea to federal charges relating to more than $250,000 in bribes he paid to the federal agents in exchange for access to secret law enforcement material.