California couple Richard Ayvazyan and Marietta Terabelian convicted of $ 20 million in COVID fraud

A California couple has been sentenced to prison for illegally raising more than $ 20 million in relief funds from COVID-19 – but authorities must seize them first.

Richard Ayvazyan, 43, was sentenced to 17 years behind bars and his wife, 37-year-old Marietta Terabelian, received a six-year sentence in federal prison on Monday for conspiracy, bank fraud and money laundering, according to the Justice Department. .

The two are abducted by authorities and have been tried in absentia.

Federal officials said they cut their tracking bracelets on Aug. 29, federal officials said.

During the trial, U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson said he cannot recall a fraud case made in such a “casual, intentional manner without any consideration for the law.”

Wilson described Ayvazyan as “an endemic, cold-hearted fraud without regard for the law” and someone who “views fraud as an achievement.”

The judge also sentenced Ayvazyan’s brother, Arthur, 41, to five years in prison.

On June 25, a federal jury found Richard Ayvazyan, Artur Ayvazyan and Terabelian guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and telephone fraud, 11 counts of telephone 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.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $ 20,000 for information leading to the arrest of Richard Ayvazyan and Terabelian.

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