PALMDALE – A 54-year-old Palmdale man, who admitted to stealing thousands of dollars in merchandise through a fake credit card scam, showed no remorse when he was busted Tuesday, authorities said.
“He simply said, ‘it’s free money!’ and that’s how he left it,” said Palmdale Sheriff’s Station Lieutenant Cory Kennedy.
Robert Muradyan (M/W/54) was arrested around 12 p.m. Tuesday (July 17) after detectives from the Palmdale Station served a search warrant at Muradyan’s home in the 40600 Block of Estoril Court in Palmdale. The search was the culmination of a month-long investigation into a credit card fraud case against Muradyan.
Detectives seized computers, blank credit card stock, stacks of credit cards with Muradyan’s name on them, and devices that read and scan credit cards.
Muradyan was using the equipment as part of a credit card fraud scheme, Kennedy said.
“The credit card has his name on it, but the victim’s information on the magnetic strip on the back…” Kennedy said. “He gets the victim information from another source, and then he basically uses that information, loads it on these cards, for his own gain.”
Detectives got the break they needed when one of the victims, who lives in Illinois, noticed some unauthorized transactions on her credit card.
“One of the transactions occurred in Fontana where some tires and rims were purchased…” Kennedy said. “The victim also found there was another transaction in the city of Palmdale at Walmart by the same person using her information, so we got the case.”
Kennedy said the victim was able to put a stop to the fraudulent credit card charge in Fontana, so that when Muradyan tried to pick up his order for rims and tires, he was told the credit card had been blocked.
“He paid cash, and they were able to get a license plate,” Kennedy said.
Palmdale detectives also viewed surveillance video of Muradyan trying to use the fake credit card at Walmart.
“This guy is seen at Walmart trying multiple cards until he gets one that bites,” Kennedy said.
When confronted with the evidence Tuesday, Muradyan admitted to the crimes and was arrested for identity theft and credit card theft.
“I think we’re going to charge him with commercial burglary as well, because he went into Walmart with these bad cards,” Kennedy said.
Detectives will be looking through Muradyan’s flash drives and computers to identify other victims scammed as part of the scheme, Kennedy said.
“He’s been doing this for a while… he’s really quite blunt about it,” Kennedy said. “It’s free money and this is how he makes extra money.”
Muradyan has already bonded out of jail and is due in court within the next 30 days to answer to charges, Kennedy said.