A North Hollywood man faces sentencing Thursday for stealing government funds designed to aid medical providers in the treatment of patients suffering from COVID-19 and using the money for his own personal benefit.
Grigor Garibyan, 36, admitted he received $57,591 designated for the medical treatment and care of COVID-19 patients and spent the money for his own personal use, rather than using the funds in conjunction with pandemic relief efforts as required.
He pleaded guilty in March in downtown Los Angeles to two federal counts of theft of government property, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Garibyan admitted that he used his ownership of GMA Home Health Inc., a home health agency in Van Nuys which closed around June 2019, to receive the funds. GMA was never operational during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The charges against Garibyan resulted from his intentional misuse of funds distributed from the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund, money specially apportioned by the government to help health care providers who were financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, to provide care to patients who were suffering from COVID-19, and to compensate providers for the cost of that care.