March 11, 2015
Las Vegas, NV – Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt announced that Lina Khachekian, 35, of North Las Vegas, was sentenced this week on two felony counts of theft related to the fraudulent use of state of Nevada credit cards assigned to her as an employee of the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Eighth Judicial District Court Judge Michael P. Villani sentenced Khachekian to 24-60 months in state prison. Khachekian was ordered to pay $292,371 in restitution, including over $60,000 that was paid at the time of sentencing. Khachekian was immediately taken into custody.
“State employees are held to a high standard as public servants, and should not abuse the trust vested in them by pilfering public funds,” said Laxalt. “This office will continue to take a firm stance against abuses of public integrity by state employees.”
Khachekian worked as Administrative Assistant IV in the IT Operations Support Unit of the Office of Information Technology at UNLV. Her duties included purchasing supplies needed by the Operations Support Unit. As a result, Khachekian was provided a state credit card to make necessary purchases. State agencies are required to put safeguards in place and regulate the use of such cards to prevent fraud, waste and abuse.
Khachekian actively circumvented such safeguards, and created the opportunity to commit the instant theft of more than $290,000 dollars over a 15 month period of time. Khachekian altered invoices of illegitimately purchased consumer electronics to resemble purchases more consistent with the authorized purchase of UNLV office supplies and equipment to conceal the unlawful nature of her conduct. She also convinced co-workers to allow her to borrow their credit cards to make additional illegitimate purchases once she had maxed out the monthly limit on her card. Khachekian relied on the trust of co-workers and supervisors to not closely scrutinize the purchases she made on various credit cards during the monthly reconciliation and payment of credit cards bills.
This case was investigated by the Attorney General’s Office, and prosecuted by Chief Deputy Attorney General Thom Gover and Deputy Attorney General Adam Woodrum of the Special Prosecutions Unit.
To read the criminal Information, click here. To file a complaint with the Nevada Attorney General’s Office, click here.
(Photo Courtesy of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)