LOS ANGELES – 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 defendants used the COVID-19 crisis to steal millions of dollars in much-needed government aid intended for people and businesses suffering from the economic effects of the worst pandemic in a century,” said United States Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison. “These sentences reflect our office’s determination to root out and punish wrongdoers who…