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Three members of a San Fernando Valley family have been sentenced – two of them in absentia after they fled justice following their convictions at trial – to years in federal prison for scheming to fraudulently obtain more than $20 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) COVID-19 relief funds.

On Monday, United States District Judge Stephen V. Wilson handed down prison sentences to the Encino residents:

– – Richard Ayvazyan, 43, who was ordered to serve 17 years;
– – Marietta Terabelian, 37, Richard Ayvazyan’s wife, who was sentenced to six years; and
– – Artur Ayvazyan, 41, Richard Ayvazyan’s brother, who was ordered to serve five years in federal prison.

At Monday’s sentencing hearing, Judge Wilson said he could not recall a fraud case conducted in such a “callous, intentional way without any regard for the law.” Judge Wilson further described Richard Ayvazyan as “an endemic, cold-hearted fraudster with no regard for the law” and someone who “views fraud as an achievement.”

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of Richard Ayvazyan and Terabelian, who allegedly cut their tracking bracelets on August 29 and went on the run while awaiting sentencing in this case. Judge Wilson sentenced them in absentia, and they remain fugitives from justice.

At the end of an eight-day trial, a federal jury on June 25 found Richard Ayvazyan, Terabelian, and Artur Ayvazyan guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud, 11 counts of wire fraud, eight counts of bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Richard Ayvazyan and his brother were also convicted of aggravated identity theft.

On June 28, the jury further found that Richard Ayvazyan and Terabelian must forfeit bank accounts, jewelry, watches, gold coins, three residential properties and approximately $450,000 in cash.

Judge Wilson previously sentenced four defendants in this case:

– – Manuk Grigoryan, 28, of Sun Valley, was sentenced on October 25 to six years in prison;
– – Edvard Paronyan, 41, of Granada Hills, was sentenced on September 27 to 30 months in prison;
– – Vahe Dadyan, 42, of Glendale, was sentenced on October 18 to 12 months and one day in prison; and
– – Arman Hayrapetyan, 39, of Glendale, was ordered on October 18 to serve 10 months of probation.

Tamara Dadyan, 42, of Encino, is scheduled to be sentenced on December 6, but Judge Wilson has not yet ruled on a motion to withdraw her guilty plea.

The defendants used dozens of fake, stolen or synthetic identities – including names belonging to elderly or deceased people and foreign exchange students who briefly visited the United States years ago and never returned – to submit fraudulent applications for approximately 150 PPP and EIDL loans. In support of the fraudulent loan applications, the defendants also submitted false and fictitious documents to lenders and the Small Business Administration (SBA), including fake identity documents, tax documents and payroll records.

The defendants then used the fraudulently obtained funds as down payments on luxury homes in Tarzana, Glendale and Palm Desert. They also used the funds to buy gold coins, diamonds, jewelry, luxury watches, fine imported furnishings, designer handbags, clothing and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The conspirators sought to fraudulently obtain more than $20 million in COVID-19 relief funds.

The FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation, the Small Business Administration’s Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General investigated this matter.