In FBI Agent’s Trial, Prosecutors Want Confession of “Lawyer” Hidden From Jury

LAMag reported the bombshell confession from the government’s star witness—an admitted mobster who lied about passing the California Bar for years—on the eve if the blockbuster trial
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Federal prosecutors say jurors in the upcoming trial of the FBI agent accused of moonlighting for the L.A. Armenian Mafia—while plotting to use top-secret intelligence on a treasure hunt for a stash of the late Muammar Gaddafi’s cash—should be barred from hearing about the shocking 11th-hour confession from the government’s star witness, which delayed the trial one week.

Edgar Sargsyan, a Calabasas millionaire and admitted Armenian mobster and conman, is a star witness for the prosecution in the trial of Babak Broumand, the former FBI agent in the National Security Investigations division who stands accused of selling out his country. Prosecutors say Broumand used his access to counterterrorism databases to tip off Armenian crime figures, including Sargsyan, to the bureau’s ongoing investigations. In exchange, Broumand allegedly received cash, a motorcycle, boozy Beverly Hills dinners, and the services of an escort.

Hours before Broumand’s federal trial was slated to begin in downtown Los Angeles, Sargsyan dropped a startling admission on his handlers about his own past crimes: The one-time partner in a Rodeo Drive law firm revealed that he’d paid a colleague $20,000 a month to study to take the California Bar Exam in his name, using a fake ID and smeared fingerprints; a Rolex watch was the cherry on top of the deal after the partner passed the exam in Sargsyan’s name. As a phony attorney, Sargsyan and his partners—who are still practicing attorneys, he confessed—have been ripping off their clients at Pillar Law Group.

The startling new proffer has now delayed Broumand’s trial, which was set to begin on Tuesday. The former federal agent’s attorney, Steven Gruel, argued that the government’s cooperation agreement with Sargsyan should be “ripped up” and the fake lawyer should be remanded as the California Bar and state attorney general investigate the new crimes Sargysan has revealed.

But instead, the government says it wants the federal judge overseeing the trial to ban jurors from hearing about Sargysan’s 11th-hour admission, writing: “The defendant may attempt to introduce evidence suggesting the government’s cooperating witness disclosed certain information ‘the night before trial.’ But such evidence, if admitted, would invite the jury to speculate regarding procedural matters, and potentially open the door to litigation on the collateral issue of why the September 13, 2022 jury trial was continued.”

Sargsyan told prosecutors he held that critical information about the bar exam from the FBI because he was afraid his wife would find out he wasn’t really a lawyer.

The government said the defense shouldn’t be allowed to use the trial delay “as a sword to confuse the jury.”

Meanwhile, Sargsyan is also at the center of multiple federal prosecutions—including the convictions of a former Glendale narcotics detective and a federal Homeland Security Investigations agent, along with a sprawling billion-dollar biofuel scheme run by an Armenian crime lord and his partners in a Mormon polygamist cult.

The U.S. Attorney’s office declined to comment on the status of Sargsyan’s deal with the government. The court has not yet ruled on the federal prosecutors’ request.

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