Tuesday, 25 September

Are the Financial Disclosures of Top Armenian Officials Trustworthy? Take the Karapetyans

Let’s be honest, I don’t trust the income disclosures filed by top Armenian officials to the state ethics committee. My suspicions are well founded.

Many of these individuals have other sources of income that are rarely reported. When I review their affidavits, many sections are merely left blank. And if other income is reported, their sources are conveniently overlooked. 

Take BHK (Prosperous Armenia) MP KaroKarapetyan for example.

The financial assets of Karapetyan and his wife Hasmik Stepanyan have increased of late, but there is nothing on their joint disclosure indicating where the revenue came from.

Their son Vilik, who is the nominal owner of the family’s commercial enterprises, shows zero income.

Hetq has reported on the Karapetyan family’s financial situation last year. (MP Karapetyan& Family: Little Revenue, but Lots of Cash)

In 2012, KaroKarapetyan reported 49 million AMD and $108,000. A year later KaroKarapetyan declared 60 million AMD and US$120,000, but his reported income remained the same - 3.124 million AMD (his salary as an MP)

The case of HasmikKarapetyan is even more bizarre.  While reporting no income at all, in 2013 she upped her cash holdings significantly and reported 80 million AMD (53 million in 2012) and US$220,000 ($100million in 2012). Only she knows where the cash came from.

In 2012, their son Vilik reported 85 million ASMD and $260,000 in cash holdings. Like his mother, he reported not one cent in revenue. In 2013, Vilik declared ‘zero’ holdings in both AMD and US$.

But we know for a fact that VilikKarapetyan owns Shahumyan Vino LLC, which produces wine and other alcoholic beverages. The company has paid in capital of 162.7 million AMD.

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Comments (1)
1. Armenians and Taxes19:00 - 7 October, 2014
It is a well known fact that Armenians do not like to pay taxes which is why they undereport income. However, Armenian public officials should be sworn to a much higher standard and scrutiny than ordinary citizens, even more so than non-elected oligarchs. The only way to allocate more funding for collective goods: army, sanitation, public space, city beautification, leading world class architecture in the tradition of Khazakistan, a world-class public library, above average museums -- is to have the necessary tax revenues and enforcable tax collection mechanisms in place, and public officials should know this more than anyone else. They have a duty to accurately report income and to contribute equitably to the collective good budget. This thied and every MP trangressing the public's trust should be prosecuted.
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