Encino Couples burdened with $ 5.6 million COVID-19 loan program

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Two Encino couples are charged with an alleged plot to rake in more than $ 5.6 million from COVID-19 economic aid programs, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

The defendants used a portion of the proceeds to pay down payments on a $ 3.25 million home in Tarzana and a $ 1 million home in Glendale, prosecutors said.

Richard Ayvazyan, 42, and his wife Mariette Terebelian, 36, were arrested in Miami on October 20 on their way back from a vacation in the Turks and Caicos Islands, prosecutors said.

Artur Ayvazyan, 36, and his wife Tamara Dadyan, 39, were arrested on November 5. The Ayvazyan are brothers.

On Tuesday, a federal grand jury charged the four with bank fraud, wire transfer fraud and conspiracy in 12 cases.

The indictment alleges that the couple used fake or stolen identities, including the names “Iuliia Zhadko” and “Viktoria Kauichko”, to file at least 35 fraudulent loan applications under the Coronavirus Relief, Aid and Economic Security Act.

They also filed fraudulent loan applications for the Economic Injury Disaster Relief and Paycheck Protection programs on their own behalf using falsified salary and tax records, the indictment said.

In total, the two couples pocketed at least $ 4.6 million of the $ 5.6 million in government aid they requested.

Thom Mrozek, a US prosecutor’s spokesman, said Wednesday there was a possibility the case could grow in size as the investigation progresses.

All four of the defendants have been released on bail pending charges.

Artur Ayvazyan and Dadyan’s lawyers declined to comment. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Richard Ayvazyan and Terabelian had lawyers.

The charges of conspiracy and bank fraud are each punished with imprisonment of up to 30 years in federal prison and wire fraud up to 20 years.

The two couples are not the first to allegedly use coronavirus aid loans for personal gain. Mrozek cited at least eight other federal charges related to COVID auxiliary fraud.

In one case, an LA business owner allegedly allegedly lost some of the $ 9 million in aid loans for its employees.

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