published on February 24, 2016 - 8:03 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Barry Halajian, 56, a resident of Fresno, was sentenced Wednesday to one year in prison for filing false liens against property owned by two federal bankruptcy judges.

U. S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner said Halajian’s sentence also included a special assessment of $200 and one year of supervised release.

Because the District and Magistrate judges in the Eastern District of California were recused from the case, U.S. District Judge Stanley A. Bastian from the Eastern District of Washington heard the case, Wagner added.

On November 17, 2015, Halajian was convicted after a brief trial on two counts of filing false liens against federal officials. The case was investigated by the F.B.I.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, in 2010, Halajian initiated a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Fresno. Two years later, he initiated a Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceeding in the same court.

On June 29, 2012, the Chapter 9 bankruptcy was dismissed.

On July 17, 2012, Halajian filed with the California Secretary of State liens on the property of two federal bankruptcy judges in the Eastern District of California, falsely listing them as debtors and himself as the secured party.

“Filing bogus liens against federal officials for purposes of harassment is a crime, and those who commit it can expect to face prison time,” Wagner said. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick Delahunty and Duce Rice prosecuted the case.

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