The Angels – Richard Ayvazyan (43) and his wife Marietta Terabelian (37) gambled the authorities in the US state of California with Corona aid funds worth around 20 million US dollars (17 million euros). But before they went to jail, the criminals removed their electronic shackles and fled – simply abandoning their three underage children!
According to CNN, the children aged 13, 15 and 16 found a note written on their computer at home that read: “We will be together again one day. This is not a goodbye, but a short break from each other. “
That was at the end of August. Almost three months later – and five months after their June conviction – the couple have still not been caught. The FBI is working hard to find the fraudsters.
That week didn’t stop a judge from sentencing Ayvazyan and Terabelian in absentia to 17 and six years in prison, respectively. Prosecutors said she and other accomplices stole more than $ 20 million in aid to (allegedly) small businesses during the pandemic.
“The defendants used the coronavirus crisis to steal much-needed government aid worth millions, destined for people and businesses suffering from the economic impact of the worst pandemic in a century,” said US Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison.
Another party to the proceedings said the case was the first of its kind in the United States to be heard in court.
According to court documents and evidence presented during the trial, the crooks used fake or stolen identities – including the names of the dead and exchange students who briefly visited the United States about years ago – to obtain the aid.
In order to make the fraudulent loan applications credible, the couple submitted forged identification documents along with falsified tax forms and pay slips, the federal prosecutors said.
With the looted money, the fraudsters led a life in full swing.
Together with Ayvazyan’s brother and five accomplices, the couple used the money to buy villas in three southern California cities: Tarzana, Glendale, and Palm Desert. In addition, the criminals invested in gold coins, diamonds, furniture, luxury watches and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, said the prosecutor.