Family trio in $18 million COVID loan fraud get away before long prison sentences
A California real estate broker who was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison is now considered a fugitive by the FBI.
Tamara Dadyan, 42, of Encino, Los Angeles, has been convicted for her role in a family fraud ring that stole $18 million in emergency pandemic loans.
Dadyan was one of eight conspirators convicted in December 2021 for the scam. The crime network was led by his brother-in-law Richard Ayvazyan and his wife Marietta Terabelian.
Ayvazyan and Terabelian are also currently on the run and reportedly cut off their ankle monitors before sentencing. There is a $20,000 reward for the pair.
Dadyan reportedly fled her home a week ago, the same day she was supposed to start serving her sentence.
The scam involved using the IDs of deceased and elderly people for up to 150 government loans.
Speaking to KTLA5, FBI Special Agent Ryan Heaton explained the reaction when Dadyan didn’t show up for her sentence.
“There was some upset, but other than that all we can do is try to track it down,” Heaton said.
He added: “Certainly having a lot of money at your disposal can make it harder for us to locate you.”
He also commented on the use of money by Dadyan and those involved in the scam.
“It was used to spend on their lifestyle, luxury items, travel and… cash withdrawals.”
Dadyan’s lawyer, Joseph Benincasa, said he had no contact with her and insisted he knew her whereabouts.
“I don’t know where the hell she is. I haven’t had contact with her,” Benincasa told NBC.
He added that he had not seen her since the last time they spoke at his office on January 28. He also said that the last time he saw her, he thought she was going to surrender.
“I got a call from the feds asking, ‘where is she?’ and I said, “I don’t know,” Benincasa recalls.
After Dadyan’s disappearance, the FBI Twitter in Los Angeles The page posted an image of her and described her as a fugitive.
“Tamara Dadyan has been sentenced to federal prison for her role in a scheme to obtain over $20 million in Covid-19 relief funds,” the Twitter page captioned.
“After failing to report to serve him 121 months, she is now a fugitive.
“Do you have any advice on its location? Please call 3104776565.”
Newsweek contacted the Los Angeles Police Department for comment.