A Sacramento resident was sentenced on Sept. 29 to 15 months in prison for bank fraud after he stole a bank customer’s identity, wired $141,395 of the customer’s money to a store that sold gold and tried to buy 100 gold coins.

Garik Voskanyan, 34, of Sacramento, was sentenced by United States District Judge Garland Burrell, Jr. to prison.

The crime occurred in May 2013, according to the Dept. of Justice. Voskanyan conspired with co-defendant Karapet Damaryan and others to steal the identity of a bank-account holder in order to gain control over the victim’s bank account. The conspirators then fraudulently wired money out of the victim’s account to a gold coin and bullion store.

Voskanyan and his co-defendant attempted to use stolen funds to purchase nearly 100 one-ounce gold coins. The fraud was detected when the victim checked his bank account on the day the fraudulent wire was attempted. Voskanyan and Damaryan were arrested outside the gold store when they arrived to pick up the gold.

A one-ounce gold American Eagle coin is currently worth about $1,350. Pure gold, based on market prices on Oct. 3, is valued at nearly $1,272 an ounce. Gold peaked recently at $1,350 an ounce on Sept. 7, and hit highs of $1,800 an ounce in 2011 and 2012, climbing from about $500 an ounce in 2005. Pure gold is 24 carats.

The case was jointly investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and Placer County sheriff’s deputies.

Co-defendant Damaryan pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft and bank fraud in January and is scheduled to be sentenced on October 27.

James Dunn covers technology, biotech, law, the food industry, and banking and finance. Reach him at: james.dunn@busjrnl.com or 707-521-4257