LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – An Encino couple convicted in an $18 million COVID-19 relief fraud case earlier this summer have cut off their ankle monitoring bracelets and gone on the lam, the FBI reported late Tuesday night.
Back in June, 43-year-old Richard Ayvazyas, his wife, 37-year-old Marietta Terabelian, and two other family members were found guilty of fraudulently obtaining more than $18 million in Paycheck Protection and Economic Injury Disaster Loan program funds.READ MORE: COVID Vaccine Mandate For New York City Teachers To Take Effect After Federal Appeals Court Lifts Temporary Ban
The used the money to put down payments on luxury homes in Tarzana, Glendale and Palm Desert and purchase jewelry and other high-end items.
They were scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 4 in Los Angeles federal court.
In a tweet late Tuesday, the FBI said the couple cut their monitoring bracelets and are considered fugitives. The couple have been missing since Sunday. Their whereabouts are unknown.READ MORE: R. Kelly Found Guilty Of All Counts In Sex Trafficking, Racketeering Trial
Evidence showed the defendants used bogus or stolen identities to submit fraudulent applications for the loans. In support of the applications, the defendants also submitted sham documents to lenders and the Small Business Administration, including fake identity documents, tax documents and payroll records.
The couple used the fraudulently obtained funds as down payments on luxury homes and to buy gold coins, diamonds, jewelry, luxury watches, imported furnishings, designer handbags, clothing and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
The FBI asks that anyone who has information on the couple to call 310-477-6565.MORE NEWS: Parents Of Immunocompromised Girl Say Long Island School District Refused Requests For Adequate Remote Option
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