West Hills Man Pleads Guilty to COVID-19 Relief Fraud

Fraud Investigation, Detective Files

Photo: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A West Hills man pleaded guilty today to stealing government funds designed to aid medical providers in the treatment of patients suffering from COVID-19.

Gurgen Israyelyan, 39, also admitted to stealing additional government funds intended to help small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Israyelyan owned Saint Christopher Hospice Inc., a hospice agency in North Hollywood which was never operational during the COVID-19 pandemic, although it received about $89,000 designated for the medical treatment and care of COVID-19 patients.

The defendant admitted using the stolen funds for personal use, transferring some of it to family members, including a relative in Armenia, according to his plea agreement.

Israyelyan pleaded guilty to three counts of theft of government property, and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 13 in Los Angeles federal court.

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