A Los Angeles real estate broker will spend more than a decade in jail for his involvement in a family fraud ring that stole more than $ 18 million in emergency loans linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tamara Dadyan, 42, and seven others convicted of fraud used ill-gotten funds to buy gold coins, diamonds, jewelry, designer handbags and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, according to the Ministry of Justice.
Prosecutors said the Los Angeles-based network submitted 151 fraudulent loan applications intended to keep small businesses afloat during the pandemic, but instead used the funds to make payments on luxury homes in Tarzana, Glendale and Palm Desert.
Dadyan was sentenced on Monday after pleading guilty in June for her role in the massive scheme carried out by her brother-in-law, Richard Ayvazyan, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Ayvazyan, 42, and his wife, Marietta Terabelian, 37, bought a $ 3.25 million house in Tarzana with the proceeds of the loan, federal prosecutors said. The pair was convicted in june after an eight-day trial, but fled before sentencing.
A judge on Monday criticized Dadyan’s “utter disregard for the law” while noting the “shamelessness” of his crimes in aiding his brother-in-law, the Times reported.
Text messages between the two said they rushed to submit fraudulent loan applications, including using the names of people who died, before the rescue fund ran out of money, the newspaper said.
“Conversations with Richard Ayvazyan show that she was his junior partner or maybe older,” US District Judge Stephen Wilson said.
Dadyan’s husband and Ayvazyan’s brother Artur Ayvazyan, 41, was also sentenced to five years in prison last month for participating in the scheme. The couple will leave two teenage girls behind when they go to jail next month, The Times reported.
A judge refused a request by Dadyan’s lawyer to stagger the sentences so that she or her husband could continue raising their daughters. The woman’s lawyer said she came to the United States from Armenia as a child before embarking on a successful career as a real estate broker in the Encino section of Los Angeles.
“This lady has been a pillar of the family,” said attorney Jerry Kaplan. “Her brother-in-law was a crook. “
Prosecutors had requested a sentence of more than 21 years for Dadyan, calling his conduct “shocking and callous,” the Times reported.
“The millions she stole were intended for small businesses and working families who desperately needed the cash to survive as the pandemic crippled the economy,” prosecutors wrote in a memo.
Kaplan said Dadyan intended to appeal his conviction. A prosecutor requested that she be immediately taken into police custody, but a judge allowed her to remain free until January 5.
Dadyan and her husband are also awaiting trial on unrelated mortgage fraud charges, the Times reported.
Ayvazyan was sentenced to 17 years in prison in absentia last month, while Terabelian was sentenced to six years in prison. The FBI proposes a $ 20,000 reward for information leading to their arrest.