Family Trio in $18M COVID Loan Fraud Flee Ahead of Lengthy 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, was 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 ring was led by her brother-in-law Richard Ayvazyan and his wife Marietta Terabelian.

Ayvazyan and Terabelian are also currently on the run and are believed to have cut off their ankle monitors ahead of their sentencing. There is a $20,000 reward out for the pair.

Dadyan is believed to have fled her home a week ago, the same day she was supposed to begin serving her sentence.

The scam involved using IDs of the deceased and the elderly for up to 150 government loans.

Speaking to KTLA5, FBI special agent Ryan Heaton explained the reaction when Dadyan did not show up for her sentence.

"There was some surprise but other than that all we can do is try to find her," Heaton said.

He added: "Certainly having a lot of money at your disposal can make it more difficult for us to locate you."

He also commented on what the money was used for by Dadyan and those involved in the scam.

"It was used to spend on their lifestyle, luxury items, trips and... cash withdrawals."

Dadyan's lawyer, Joseph Benincasa, said he had not had contact with her and insisted he did not know where she was.

"I don't know where the heck she is. I have not 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 the last time he saw her he believed that she was heading to turn herself in.

"I got a call from the federal government asking, 'where is she?' and I said, 'I don't know," Benincasa recalled.

After Dadyan's disappearance, the FBI Los Angeles Twitter page posted an image of her and described her as a fugitive.

"Tamara Dadyan was sentenced to federal prison for her role in a scheme to obtain more than 20 million in Covid-19 relief funds," the Twitter page wrote as a caption.

"After failing to report to serve her 121 months, she is now a fugitive.

"Have a tip about her location? Please call 3104776565."

Newsweek has contacted the Los Angeles Police Department for comment.

fbi fugative
An image of Tamara Dayan posted on social media by the FBI Los Angeles Twitter Page. A picture of Richard Ayvazyan and Marietta Terabelian, who have also gone on the run. Dayan was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for her role in a family fraud ring during the pandemic. FBI Los Angeles/KTLA