Couple on the Run After Being Convicted in $21M COVID-19 Relief Scam Case

A California couple has gone on the run after they were convicted of running a $21 million COVID-19 relief scam. Prior to sentencing, which was scheduled for October 4th, 43-year-old Richard Ayvazyan and 37-year-old Marietta Terabelian allegedly cut their ankle monitors off and fled.

The couple was convicted in June after they, and two relatives, received $21 million from the Paycheck Protection and Economic Injury Disaster Loan program by submitting fraudulent loan applications. Ayvazyan and Terabelian were able to defraud the loan program by using false identities and documents on loan applications. After receiving the funds, the couple purchased multiple homes, jewelry, and other luxury items.

The couple and their relatives were charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. After their conviction, the suspects were ordered to forfeit about $450,000 in cash, three homes, bank accounts, and jewelry, among other penalties. Ayvazyan was also found guilty of identity theft.

Richard Ayvazyan and Marietta Terabelian have been missing since Sunday.

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