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Tuesday, Oct 3, 2023

Three More People Arrested in $22 Million PPP Loan Scam

Federal authorities have charged three new defendants with participating in a scheme that allegedly submitted more than 150 fraudulent loan applications seeking nearly $22 million in COVID-19 relief funds authorized under the CARES Act, according to the Department of Justice on Friday.The fresh round of arrests expands on last year’s case in which four people were indicted. Manuk Grigoryan, 27, of Sun Valley; Edvard Paronyan, 40, of Granada Hills; and Vahe Dadyan, 41, of Glendale were arraigned on the superseding indictment Thursday afternoon in U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles. The judge released all three on bond and ordered them to stand trial May 4.The case involves a 33-count superseding indictment that charges a total of eight defendants with using fake, stolen or synthetic identities to submit fraudulent applications for loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration SBA through the Economic Injury Disaster Relief Program, or EIDL, and the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, under the CARES Act.There is also a fourth new defendant charged in this superseding indictment – Arman Hayrapetyan, 38, of Glendale – although he has yet to be arrested and is still being sought by federal authorities.Last November, a fraud investigation led to the arrests of co-defendants Richard Ayvazyan and his wife, Marietta Terabelian; his brother, Artur Ayvazyan; and his sister-in-law, Tamara Dadyan. All four were charged with a count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, four counts of bank fraud and six counts of wire fraud.The conspiracy and bank fraud charges alleged in the indictment each carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison. The wire fraud counts each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years.

Michael Aushenker
Michael Aushenker
A graduate of Cornell University, Michael covers commercial real estate for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. Prior to the Business Journal, Michael covered the community and entertainment beats as a staff writer for various newspapers, including the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, The Palisadian-Post, The Argonaut and Acorn Newspapers. He has also freelanced for the Santa Barbara Independent, VC Reporter, Malibu Times and Los Feliz Ledger.

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