Fugitive Couple Extradited to the United States from Montenegro to Begin Prison Sentences for $20 Million Fraud
The United States Department of Justice
A California couple who fled to Montenegro to avoid serving lengthy prison sentences has been returned to the United States after approximately one year and two months as fugitives.
Richard Ayvazyan, 44, and his wife, Marietta Terabelian, 38, were extradited by Montenegro and arrived in Los Angeles last night. They are expected to appear in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles this afternoon.
In June 2021, Ayvazyan and Terabelian were convicted by a federal jury of leading a conspiracy to fraudulently obtain over $20 million in COVID-19 relief funds. After the trial, Ayvazyan and Terabelian fled the United States. In November 2021, they were sentenced in absentia. Ayvazyan was sentenced to 17 years in prison, and Terabelian was sentenced to six years in prison. U.S. authorities later determined the couple had fled to Montenegro.
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