Los Angeles (CBSLA) – An Encino man and several members of his family were found guilty of raising more than $ 18 million in COVID-19 relief loans.
A federal jury found Richard Ayvazyan, 42; his wife, 37-year-old Marietta Terabelian; his brother, Artur Ayvazyan, 41, and father-in-law Vahe Dadyan, 41, from Glendale, guilty of bank fraud, wire transfer fraud and money laundering on Friday. Artur Ayvazyan was also found guilty of grave identity theft.
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Prosecutors say the four used fake, stolen, and synthetic identities – such as the created identities of “Iuliia Zhadko” and “Viktoria Kauichko” – to track fraudulent claims for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan ( EIDL) funds to be submitted. According to the Ministry of Justice, the applications were often submitted with fictitious documents, including falsified ID and tax documents and pay slips.
With more than $ 18 million in COVID relief supplies, the defendants made down payments on luxury properties in Tarzana, Glendale and Palm Desert and bought gold coins, diamonds, jewelry, luxury watches, fine imported furniture, designer handbags, clothes and clothes a Harley-Davidson motorcycle , announced federal authorities.
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“In search of quick fortune, the defendants stole federal funds to help Americans hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic slaughter,” Tracy L. Wilkinson, acting US attorney, said in a statement .
On Monday, the jury found the defendants forfeited their bank accounts, jewelry, watches, gold coins, three residential properties and approximately $ 450,000 in cash. At their hearing scheduled for September 13, they face decades of federal prisons.
According to prosecutors, four others have already pleaded guilty to this case, including 39-year-old Tamara Dadyan from Encino, Artur Avazyan’s wife and Vahe Dadyan’s cousin. She pleaded guilty to bank fraud, wire transfer fraud, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit money laundering on June 14, and if convicted on September 27, she faces up to 52 years in federal prison.
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Manuk Grigoryan, 46, from Sonnental; 40 year old Edvard Paronyan from Granada Hills; and Glendale-born Arman Hayrapetyan, 41, are also guilty of bank fraud, wire transfer fraud, identity theft and money laundering. They face decades in federal prison if they are sentenced in August and September.