A federal jury convicted four California residents on June 25, for scheming to submit fraudulent loan applications seeking millions of dollars in Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan COVID-19 relief funds.
After an eight-day trial, Richard Ayvazyan, 42, his wife Marietta Terabelian, 37, and his brother Artur Ayvazyan, 41, all of Encino, were each found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud, 11 counts of wire fraud, eight counts of bank fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Richard Ayvazyan was also found guilty of two counts of aggravated identity theft and Artur Ayvazyan was found guilty of one count of aggravated identity theft. Vahe Dadyan, 41, of Glendale was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud, six counts of wire fraud, three counts of bank fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and one count of money laundering.
On June 28, the jury found the defendants must forfeit bank accounts, jewelry, watches, gold coins, three residential properties, and approximately $450,000 in cash.
According to the evidence presented at trial, the defendants used fake, stolen, or synthetic identities – including the created identities of “Iuliia Zhadko” and “Viktoria Kauichko” – to submit fraudulent applications for the loans. In support of the fraudulent loan applications, the defendants also submitted false and fictitious documents to lenders and the Small Business Administration, including fake identity documents, tax documents, and payroll records. The defendants then used the fraudulently obtained funds as down payments on luxury homes in Tarzana, Glendale, and Palm Desert. They also used the funds to buy gold coins, diamonds, jewelry, luxury watches, fine imported furnishings, designer handbags, clothing, and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The conspirators obtained more than $18 million in COVID-19 relief funds.
Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 13.