Four More Indicted For COVID-19 Embezzlement Ring, Wire And Bank Fraud Of Almost $22 Million

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Melanie Wilcox Contributor
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A Los Angeles federal grand jury charged four more people Thursday for trying to fraudulently obtain COVID-19 relief funds, the United States Department of Justice announced Friday.

Manuk Grigoryan, 27, Arman Hayrapetyan, 38, Edvard Paronyan, 40, and Vahe Dadyan, 41 allegedly participated in a scheme in which 150 fraudulent loan applications totaling nearly $22 million were submitted as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Enacted on March 29, 2020, the CARES Act was created to give emergency financial assistance to Americans suffering from the financial effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the statement.

In a superseding indictment filed in the Central District of California, the four individuals were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Each individual is also named in other counts, according to the statement. (RELATED: Woman Charged With Receiving CARES Funds For A Medical Provider That Wasn’t Operational, Cutting Checks For Relatives)

The four defendants conspired with four previous charged-codefendants as part of a disaster-relief loan fraud ring in Southern California, according to the Department of Justice. They used the fraudulently obtained funds to purchase luxury homes, gold coins, diamonds, jewelry, luxury watches, fine-imported furnishings, designer handbags and clothing, cryptocurrency and securities, the Department of Justice stated.