Tarzana couple convicted of $ 18 million pandemic fraud flee and on the run, FBI says
A Tarzana couple are on the run from federal authorities after cutting their watch bracelets and have fled pending conviction for the theft of millions of dollars in coronavirus pandemic relief funds, the FBI said on Tuesday.
Richard Ayvazyan, 43, and Marietta Terabelian, 37, were convicted in June of conspiring with family members to fraudulently obtain at least $ 18 million in emergency relief funds.
They created an elaborate network of shell companies in the San Fernando Valley to obtain loans under paycheck protection programs and economic disaster loans.
The FBI office in Los Angeles said on Twitter that the two were now considered fugitives.
They were to be sentenced on October 4.
“They have international ties as well as local ties, but we’re not ruling out where they may have fled,” FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.
Federal officials believe the couple fled the $ 3.25 million house in Tarzana on Sunday afternoon that they bought with the loan money they stole, she said. . They were convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, conspiracy to launder money and related crimes.
Court records have shown the couple used a number of Los Angeles shell companies created with stolen identities, forged tax returns and fake payrolls to collect the taxpayer bailout money.
In August 2020, the group had requested 151 loans from mainly fictitious companies, some of them bearing real names.
On June 25, a federal jury in Los Angeles convicted Ayvazyan, Terabelian and two relatives of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, conspiracy to launder money and related crimes. Four accomplices pleaded guilty the day before the trial.