Encino brothers and their wives found guilty of fraudulent assistance scheme in connection with COVID-19; $ 18 million spent on luxury homes, jewelry, Harley-Davidson

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A man from Encino and several members of his family were among those found guilty of a scheme to receive more than $ 18 million in relief loans in connection with COVID-19.

Encino’s Richard Ayvazian, convicted of conspiracy, money laundering and other federal crimes for his leading role in a family conspiracy to file fraudulent applications for urgent government loans to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, walks out of the downtown Federal Court building in Friday. , June 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Two Armenian immigrant brothers and their wives from the San Fernando Valley are accused of stealing $ 18 million from COVID-19 disaster relief funds by setting up a complex network of fictitious small businesses to obtain urgent loans using stolen identities, fake payrolls and fake tax returns. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) #

The federal jury recognized the 42-year-old Richard Ayvazyan; his wife, 37-year-old Marietta Terabelian; his brother, 41-year-old Artur Ayvazyan, and son-in-law Vahe Dadyan, 41, from Glendale, were guilty of bank fraud, electronic means fraud and money laundering on Friday. Artur Ayvazyan was also found guilty of aggravated identity theft.

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Prosecutors allege that the four used fake, stolen, and artificial identities – such as the fictitious identities of “Yulia Zhadko” and “Victoria Kauichko” – to send fraudulent claims to the Payroll Protection Program or PPP and Economic Damage Loan, or EIDL, aid funds … According to the Justice Department, applications were often filed with bogus documents, including fake identity documents, tax documents, and payroll records.

With over $ 18 million in funds to fight COVID, the Defendants made payments for luxury homes in Tarzan, Glendale and Palm Desert, as well as purchased gold coins, diamonds, jewelry, luxury watches, fine imported furniture, designer bags, clothing, and td Harley-Davidson motorcycle, federal authorities said.

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“In their quest to get rich quick, the defendants stole federal funds intended to help Americans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic carnage that followed,” said Acting US Attorney Tracy L. Wilkinson.

Arthur Ayvazyan of Encino, convicted of conspiracy, banking fraud and other federal crimes in a family conspiracy to file fraudulent applications for emergency government loans to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, at the Federal Court in downtown on Friday, June 25. 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Two Armenian immigrant brothers and their wives from the San Fernando Valley are accused of stealing $ 18 million from COVID-19 disaster relief funds by setting up a complex network of fictitious small businesses to obtain urgent loans using stolen identities, fake payrolls and fake tax returns. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) #

On Monday, a jury admitted that the defendants should forfeit their bank accounts, jewelry, watches, gold coins, three homes and approximately $ 450,000 in cash. They face decades in federal prison at a sentencing hearing scheduled for September 13.

According to the prosecutor’s office, four more have already pleaded guilty to the case, including 39-year-old Tamara Dadyan from Encino, Arthur Avazian’s wife and Vahe Dadyan’s cousin. She pleaded guilty to banking fraud, electronic communications fraud, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to launder money on June 14, and faces up to 52 years in federal prison when she is sentenced on September 27.

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Manuk Grigoryan, 46 years old, from the Sun Valley; 40-year-old Edward Paronyan from Granada Hills; and 41-year-old Arman Hayrapetyan from Glendale also pleaded guilty to bank fraud, electronic fraud, identity theft and money laundering. Each of them faces decades in federal prison when they are sentenced in August and September.

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