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Two women convicted for identity theft

May 28, 2005

Marisa O'Neil

Two Orange County women were convicted Tuesday of multiple counts of

identity theft in a scheme they hatched while working at a Newport

Beach financial advising company, prosecutors said.

Alina Adamian, 33, of Laguna Niguel, and Tammy Smirien, 35, of

Huntington Beach, were accused of taking a more-than-$250,000 loan

out on one victim's life insurance policy without his knowledge,

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Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Randy Pawloski said.

The women also stole identities of other victims to set up a Ponzi

scheme, he said.

The two women used the money to live a lavish lifestyle, including

cosmetic surgery and trips to posh New York hotels and Las Vegas

casinos, Pawloski said.

The complicated plot started in 2000 when Adamian worked as an

executive assistant for a high-end financial investment company in

Newport Beach, where Smirien also briefly worked.

Adamian used a company computer and fax machine to apply for and

get the loan on a wealthy client's life insurance policy, Pawloski

said.

She deposited the money in an online bank account for which both

she and Smirien had ATM cards.

Newport Beach detectives used phone, bank and toll road

transponder records to retrace the women's steps.

Investigators also discovered personal identifying information

inside the homes of friends, neighbors and co-workers of the women,

Pawloski said.

They attempted to set up an online trading account using some of

the information and had flow charts detailing a Ponzi scheme, he

said.

The women were arrested in 2003 and were free on $50,000 bail

until Tuesday's convictions.

Both were convicted of three counts of identity theft and one

count of theft.

Adamian was convicted of an additional identity theft charge and

of making a false financial statement.

Both are in jail awaiting sentencing, scheduled for July 8 in

Orange County Superior Court.

Smirien faces up to eight years, four months in prison. Adamian

faces up to nine years.

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