Nareg Hartounian, the embattled diaspora Armenian who heads the Naregatsi Art Union, today responded to charges made by tax official Armen Alaverdyan basically charging diaspora businessman with viewing Armenia as a cash cow to be milked.
At a press conference, Hartounian said Alaverdyan was playing with his family’s honor.
Armen Alaverdyan, First Deputy to the President of the RA State Revenue Committee, had stated that, “The case of Nareg Hartounian, in typical Armenian fashion, is one in which Armenia is regarded as a source of profits and, tragically, evasion of taxes goes hand in hand,” Alaverdyan said.
Alaverdyan made the statement during a live February 24 live TV link-up with the U.S. on the general topic of diaspora investment, with particular attention paid to cases where the rights of diaspora investors have been violated.
Today, Hartounian repeated that the tax officials should be going after the directors of GH Storage Enterprise who managed the company before he came on board in 2010 after they embezzled funds from the company.
He said the family had invested $500,000 to keep the company solvent.
Hartounian charged the tax examiners with being in cahoots with these former company directors given that they have never been questioned. Hartounian said the company would gladly pay whatever tax is owed but only if a just appraisal is made. He refuted any hint of premeditated tax evasion on his part or that of his family.
In conclusion, Hartounian said tax officials in Armenia have been “eating the family alive” for the past year.
Hartounian made a special plea to the diaspora, urging Armenians to follow this case in order to grasp what is currently take place in the homeland.