Southern California couple convicted in $18M COVID-19 relief scam now on the run

Posted at 7:46 AM, Sep 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-02 10:46:29-04

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A Los Angeles couple who were convicted of helping steal $18 million in COVID-19 relief funds are on the lam after cutting off their ankle monitors.

The FBI announced Tuesday that Richard Ayvazyan and Marietta Terabelian are considered fugitives. They were convicted of fraud and conspiracy in June and were potentially facing decades in prison.

The couple, Ayvazyan's brother and a Glendale man were convicted in June of submitting phony loan applications for federal business relief funds.

Prosecutors said they actually spent the money to buy expensive homes, gold coins, diamonds, jewelry and other luxuries.

The City News Service reported the couple were due to be sentenced in Los Angeles federal court on Oct. 4.