Couple who swindled $18 million in COVID relief discovered in tiny European village

Richard Ayvazyan and Marietta Terabelian
Richard Ayvazyan and Marietta Terabelian Photo credit Department of Justice

They lived on the lam for over a year but a couple who swindled tens of millions of dollars was finally located and arrested in a small European country.

Californians Richard Ayvazyan, 44, and Marietta Terabelian, 38, were convicted of leading a conspiracy to create multiple made-up businesses and utilize fake documents to falsely acquire COVID-19 relief loans.

The amount they are said to have illegally borrowed: over $20 million.

Ayvazyan and Terabelian, who fled the country after their convictions, are believed to be members of a larger group who aided them in the scam.

The pair was found in Montenegro and will now be extradited to the U.S. to serve prison sentences that were doled out in absentia, according to the Department of Justice.

Ayvazyan was sentenced to 17 years in prison. Terabelian’s sentence was six years in prison.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Department of Justice