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Local Armenians fear rush to judgment after gang crackdown

February 17, 2011 |  7:42 am

Many Armenians in Glendale are fearing a rush to judgment after local and federal authorities instituted a major crackdown on Armenian organized crime that included allegedly defrauding the public of $20 million.

Click to read the indictmentA total of 74 people were arrested Wednesday on fraud and racketeering charges contained in federal indictments unveiled at Glendale police headquarters. The indictments allege that members of the Armenian Power gang engaged in white-collar crimes to defraud the public.

DOCUMENTS: Read the indictment

People of Armenian descent make up about 40% of the population of Glendale, and many expressed concern that the arrests would be used by some to reinforce ethnic stereotypes.

"There are a lot of hard-working people who have helped make this city what it is, and like any culture ... you're going to have the best and the worst in any specific place," Glendale City Clerk Ardy Kassakhian said. "The best we can hope for is that people don't use this opportunity to use this headline to divide this community."

Read more about concerns within the local Armenian community.

RELATED:

Raids targeting Armenian gang net 74 fraud suspects

-- Jason Wells and Veronica Rocha, Glendale News-Press / Times Community News

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