American-Armenian’s Tax Nightmare in the Motherland
Recently, American-Armenian businessman Edmond Khudyan sent a letter to President Serzh Sargsyan, recounting the sad fate of his investments here in Armenia.
At the urging of his friends and acquaintances, Khudyan decided to make some business investments here. He now regrets this decision, and thus his letter to Sargsyan. During the past few years Khudyan, transferred some of his assets here to invest in real estate and setting up grape and fruit-tree orchards.
During a phone conversation, Khudyan said that he had placed his trust in his Armenian business adviser here.
“I was invited by someone with a well-known reputation. He guaranteed that I would not wind-up as yet another victim. That person’s reputation and position engendered confidence in me,” Khudyan wrote to President Sargsyan.
In 2005, Khudyan founded Arin Capital & Investment LLC. In December, 2007, Arin Capital launched construction of an 11 storey building on a parcel of land at 33 Mashtots Street in Yerevan belonging to Khudyan.
His principal partner was Vladislav Mangasaryan, owner of a consortium of construction companies. Eduard Yesayan, Khudyan’s childhood buddy, was named director of the company.
“Afterwards, according to the agreement, 21.3% of the 100% shares I owned in Arin were transferred over to Haygaz Sargsyan, upon Mangasaryan’s instructions. 17.6% went to Ghevond Galumyan as compensation to see that the company operated normally and meet all is obligations to the tax and other government agencies,” Khudyan wrote to President Sargsyan.
The history of this business story is so convoluted and intricate, that it makes sense to present some background regarding the players involved.
First off – who is Vladislav Mangasaryan?
Vlad, as he’s called by friends, was the deputy to the director of the Yerevanshin Factory during the Soviet era. Vlad loves to boast that during his life he has built some 6000,000 square meters worth of construction.
During the elite construction boom, Mangasaryan started to build in downtown Yerevan and other areas of the capital. Many of his buildings remain incomplete.
Mangasaryan is now building a luxury residence in Yerevan’s Davitashen neighborhood. In realty, he’s the director of the VERM construction company and pulls the strings over at Kamar Ltd. He’s also the shareholder and director of V.M.G. Group, an off-shoot of the other two.
On January 8, 2009, Yerevan’s Civil Court found Mangasaryan to be bankrupt.
In 2004, Mangasaryan was constructing a building at 4-A Teryan Street. To date, he still hasn’t allocated apartments to 16 individuals as originally promised. Naturally, these people have nothing nice to say about Mangasaryan.
The land was obtained by Ghevond Galumyan back in the 1990s. Arsen Ghazaryan, Galumyan and Mangasaryan decided to erect a building on the site. Galumyan, a former top police official, wasn’t on good terms with then Minister of the Interior Vano Siradeghyan. As a result of the bad blood, Galumyan left Armenia.
Mangasaryan, with the deposit payments from the future residents, went ahead and erected the building along with Ghazaryan.
After Vano Siradeghyan left Armenia, Galumyan returned from his imposed exile. He demanded his share from Mangasaryan; around $1 million according to the preliminary agreement.
Mangasaryan was then called in by the police for questioning regarding some other mater. Galumyan intervened and had him released.
Galumyan is the principal stockholder in Yerevan’s cable factory; he owns 80% of the shares. He also owns some construction companies.
As I said, when Galumyan returned he demanded his share of the money from Mangasaryan. But our friend Vladislav was broke. His former friends say that Mangasaryan gambled away huge sums at the casinos.
At the time, Mangasaryan owed about $5 million to the Akounk Bank. In December, 20009, Armenia’s Central Bank found Akounk to be insolvent and liquidated its operations. (Akounk’s shadowy past is the theme for another time.)
What does all this have to do with our American-Armenian business man Ed KH? Readers will have to wait for the next edition of Hetq to find out.
In the meantime, let me just note that Khudyan has petitioned the President of the State Revenue Committee (SRC) for redress and that the agency’s investigators have been questioning both Mangasaryan and Yesayan.
Ani Torosyan, KH’s lawyer, has sent a file to SRC President Gagik Khachatryan, laying out all the details of her client’s business dealings here in Armenia.
She has urged the SRC to get to the bottom of the matter and find out who did what to get Arin Capital in the tax burden nightmare it now faces with the SRC.
The lawyer also demands that those responsible be criminally charged.
To be continued