When convicted Tarzana swindlers Richard Ayvazyan and Marietta Terabelian sliced off their electronic monitoring bracelets and vanished in August, the couple left a note for the three teenage children they abandoned.
“We will be together again one day,” they wrote. “This is not a goodbye but a brief break from each other.”
Perhaps not so brief.
Ayvazyan, 43, was sentenced in absentia on Monday to 17 years in prison for leading a fraud ring that stole $18 million in a lurid scam to secure emergency pandemic loans that were supposed to go to small businesses upended by lockdowns. Terabelian, 37, was sentenced to six years. Their whereabouts are unknown.
The couple’s visibly distraught children watched from a courtroom bench as U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson described the crimes of their parents and six accomplices as “horrific and calculated and callous,” saying it deprived legitimate businesses of relief they needed to survive the economic devastation of 2020.
The group created scores of fictitious San Fernando Valley businesses, attaching fake payrolls and forged tax returns to many of their 151 loan applications. To open bank accounts for the sham businesses, they used the names of people who were dead or whose identities were stolen.
Wilson singled out Ayvazyan as the scheme’s architect, calling him an “endemic cold-hearted fraudster” with no regard for the law.
“If given the opportunity, he would concoct another fraud, because the way he spoke of this fraud indicates…