Glass Emporium Owner Found Guilty of Insurance Fraud
A jury found Glass Emporium owner Mehrdad Hakimian guilty
on all counts in the charges filed against him related to insurance fraud
and the harboring of illegal aliens, according to the U.S. Attorney’s
Office lead attorney on the case, Stephen Corrigan. The trial was completed
in March, and Hakimian is scheduled to be sentenced on June 4. The charges
filed against him, as the result of an investigation by the FBI, include
conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, harboring illegal aliens,
obstruction of justice, conspiracy to commit visa fraud, and visa fraud.
Hakimian issued the following statement regarding the trial to AGRR magazine/glassBYTEs.com™.
“Glass Emporium staff and management are disappointed in the outcome of
this trial, but everyone associated with the company respects the jury’s
decision,” he says.
In the faxed statement Hakimian also says the company has changed its
operating procedures since the FBI investigation began.
“Since the investigation began at the end of 2006, Glass Emporium has
implemented strict auditing procedures and investigation to correct the
issues underlying the charges and are confident that these problems are
resolved and will not occur,” he says. “We have reimbursed insurance companies
involved for any errors and we continue to have good working relationships
In the details of the fraud charges, Hakimian was accused of directing
the company’s employees to bill insurance companies “for the cost of more
expensive windshields than those installed … knowing that less expensive
windshields had been installed.” Likewise, the court charged him with
directing employees to also separately charge insurance companies for
mouldings, clips and installation materials, “even when those costs were
included in the cost of the windshields.”
With regard to the obstruction of justice charges, Hakimian is alleged
to have “corruptly alter[ed], destroy[ed], mutilate[d], and conceal[ed]
documents and records, namely, glass invoices, glass work orders, and
electronically stored invoice records, with the intent to impair their
integrity and availability for use in an official proceeding,” according
to documents filed in the case.
With respect to the illegal immigration charges, Hakimian is said to have
encouraged certain employees whom he knew were illegal aliens to work
from home in an effort to avoid being discovered by the Immigration and
Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), according to the indictment issued against
Bobby Guinto and Aldy Antonio, two fellow employees whom Hakimian is said
to have directed in these efforts, pleaded guilty previously, and Glass
Emporium vice president Emma DeGuzman was scheduled to be on trial at
the same time as Hakimian, but pleaded guilty just before it was to begin
to the charges related to harboring illegal aliens, at which point the
fraud charges against her were dismissed.
Glass Emporium owns both Glass Pro and Glass Masters and has locations
throughout the United States. The company is not affiliated with Glasspro
in Charleston, S.C.
Mainstreet Computers Expands Both Physical Location and
Industry software supplier Mainstreet Computers in Belleville, Mich.,
recently has undergone some growth, and, though it previously shared its
building with several tenants, is in the process of expanding into the
“We’re expanding and using the whole building now,” company sales manager
Mark Haeck told AGRR magazine/glassBYTEs.com™ in a recent interview. “We’re
bracing ourselves for growth.”
Haeck attributes some of this growth to the company’s entry into web services
in the last few years.
“About three to four years ago we added our web services division and
it’s been going really well,” he says. “There’s a whole new generation
out there with people going to the web instead of the yellow pages … It’s
a great opportunity for us.”
“Our programs are getting better all the time, and the tools available
are more flexible,” addsHaeck.
The company also recently hired a new representative, Kevin Winningham,
to handle its marketing efforts and is in the process of expanding its
sales staff as well.
Safelite to Open New Call Center in Phoenix
Safelite announced recently that it will open a new call center in Chandler,
Ariz., outside Phoenix, on June 1. The company says the call center initially
will employ around 195, with numbers estimated to grow to around 1,000.
The new facility is 86,000 square feet and will be staffed 365 days a
“This new facility helps support our business continuity plan by expanding
our contact center operations to a second city outside of Columbus, Ohio,”
says Safelite president and chief executive officer Tom Feeney. “We chose
Phoenix for several reasons, including its strong business community and
highly educated workforce; access to a growing Hispanic and Latino-speaking
employee base; the later time zone; and the climate.”
Court Doubles Damages in Saint-Gobain Autover/Xinyi Suit
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio issued a recent
ruling doubling the damages Xinyi Glass North America will be required
to pay Saint-Gobain Autover in a patent infringement suit filed by the
latter company; the final damages total is nearly $22 million. (The exact
amount of the damages totaled $21,888,030, compared with an original ruling
In addition, Xinyi has been ordered to pay attorney’s fees of nearly $2
million, according to court documents.
In addition, court costs also were assessed—totaling $384,882.99—also
to be paid by Xinyi, according to court documents.
Though a jury had made a damage assessment in November of around $11 million,
Saint-Gobain Autover had motioned for “enhanced damages, attorney’s fees
and pre-judgment interest.” Though the first two of these
were granted, Saint-Gobain Autover was not awarded pre-judgment interest,
Saint-Gobain filed the suit in 2006, alleging that Xinyi infringed on
two of its patents, one titled “Spacer for Windshield Bracket” (known
in court documents as the ‘669 patent) and one titled “Method of Centering
Windshield Glazings” (referred to as the ‘395 patent). Both patents involve
windshields equipped with “an extruded profiled spacer,” according to
a November statement from Saint-Gobain Autover.
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