The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nebraska has announced truck driver Artak Medjbarian of Sherman Oaks, Calif. has pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to attempt to steal $163,000 worth of beef products from a Nebraska Beef facility in Omaha.

Medjbarian, age 33, was charged in May 2012 by a federal grand jury in a scheme with others to steal loads of meat cargo, by pretending to be the legitimate freight haulers to whom authority to transport the loads had been given. The indictment specifically charged a conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to engage in the interstate transportation of stolen property. 

The indictment alleged that Medjbarian used the identity of a legitimate trucking company in Arizona, Lopez Trucking, to bid on hauling a load of meat from Nebraska Beef to California. Federal authorities say due to discrepancies with respect to the documentation forwarded by unknown co-conspirators on Medjbarian’s behalf, the freight brokers contacted the owners of the real Lopez Trucking. They found the company did not have trucks operating under their authority in Nebraska on Jan. 27, 2012, the day Medjbarian showed up at Nebraska Beef pretending to have the transport authority of Lopez Trucking.

The Omaha Police were contacted and Medjbarian was initially arrested on local charges.

Medjbarian is detained pending sentencing, which is set for October 7. He faces a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison on the conspiracy conviction.