‘Just take care of me’: How a corrupt FBI agent protected an L.A. crime figure for cash

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Pulled over in Burbank for driving without license plates, the man in the black Cadillac Escalade offered the police an explanation: The FBI used the car for official business.

Then Edgar Sargsyan, a phony lawyer who had made a fortune through identity theft, pulled a laminated piece of paper out of the glove box and handed it to the officers. The parking placard had a U.S. Department of Justice seal on one side and an FBI agent’s business card taped to the back.

Sargsyan thought the placard would get him out of a minor jam. Instead, the 2016 traffic stop set in motion a cascade of events that led to the conviction Tuesday of a decorated FBI agent on federal charges of bribery and money laundering.

Jurors found that the agent, Babak Broumand, shared confidential information about FBI investigations with Sargsyan in exchange for monthly cash payments and other bribes. Although the panel acquitted Broumand on two charges and decided that the government cannot seize a Lake Tahoe vacation home prosecutors claimed was bought with dirty money, he still faces up to 15 years in prison. Broumand’s attorney, Steve Gruel, said he planned to appeal the verdict.

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