Sumary of A couple convicted of stealing Covid funds is on the run, the F.B.I. says.:
- When the Covid-19 pandemic began last year, a Southern California man recruited his brother, his wife and many others to use the identities of older people, foreign exchange students who had left the country and dead relatives to apply for $20 million in federal relief funds, the authorities said.
- The man, Richard Ayvazyan, 43, bought a $3.25 million mansion and filled it with gold coins, luxury watches and imported furniture using the stolen Covid-19 disaster-relief funds, federal prosecutors in California said.
- and Artur Ayvazyan, Mr. Ayvazyan’s brother, were convicted of scheming to fraudulently obtain funding that was meant for people and businesses that had sustained economic losses as a result of the pandemic.
- In August, as they awaited sentencing at their home in the San Fernando Valley, Mr. Ayvazyan and Ms. Terabelian removed their bracelet monitors and fled, according to the F.
- Mr. Ayvazyan received 17 years in prison and his wife received six.
- Wilson of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California said he could not recall a fraud case done in such a “callous, intentional way without any regard for the law” and described Mr. Ayvazyan as “an endemic, coldhearted fraudster.
- ”Mr. Ram said a one-sided picture of Mr. Ayvazyan was presented at sentencing.
- ”Mr. Ayvazyan’s background as a churchgoer, a father and a prominent member of the Armenian community in Southern California who invested in small start-ups did not come up at the hearing.