November 28, 2021

Fugitive California Couple Sentenced To Prison Time For Stealing $20 Million In COVID Relief

On Monday, a Los Angeles couple was sentenced to federal jail for stealing $20 million in COVID-19 aid funds. They had been convicted in absentia and have been fugitives since August.

Richard Ayvazyan, 43, was sentenced to 17 years in jail. His spouse and co-defendant, Marietta Terabelian, 37, was sentenced to 6 years behind bars. Ayvazyan’s brother, Artur, 41, acquired a five-year sentence. 

In June, Richard Ayvazyan, Artur Ayvazyan, and Terabelian had been convicted of conspiracy, financial institution and wire fraud. Richard and Artur Ayvazyan had been moreover convicted of aggravated id theft. They used a number of faux and stolen identities to submit 150 functions for COVID-19 meant for small companies. 

“The defendants used the COVID-19 crisis to steal millions of dollars in much-needed government aid intended for people and businesses suffering from the economic effects of the worst pandemic in a century,” stated U.S. Lawyer Tracy L. Wilkison in a press release.

Nevertheless, in keeping with federal officers, the trio eliminated their digital monitoring gadgets in August whereas awaiting sentencing. They’ve been on the run since then. The FBI is providing a $20,000 reward for any info resulting in the fugitive’s arrest.

4 others have pleaded responsible in connection to the case. A fifth particular person was ready to be sentenced however has since requested to withdraw her plea.