Millions Worth of Armenian Government Contracts to Company Owned by Accused Embezzler
Local and state government agencies in Armenia continue to sign contracts worth billions of drams from a company whose owner and director is accused of defrauding the government of 256 million drams (US$661,000) in 2019.
Hakob Stepanyan, who owns Regionstroyservice LLC is accused of embezzling the money when he served as director of another company, Ukrinvest LLC.
In the first five months of 2023, the ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure and the municipalities of Yerevan and Masis signed contract with the company worth 938 million drams ($2.4 million).
The company, founded in December 2020, paints road markings. Installs street signs and maintains traffic lights in Armenia. One month later, Armenia’s Police signed a 467-million-dram ($898,000) contract with the company to paint road markings on Yerevan streets.
On June 9, 2020, Armenia’s Special Investigative Service (SIS) issued a statement that in 2018-2019 the director of Ukrinvest company, as well as other persons affiliated with the company, organized and committed fraud and embezzled some 256 million drams.
On June 10, 2020, the SIS reported that the 256-million-dram damage caused to the state had been fully recovered and that the defendants signed affidavits not to flee the country.
The trial of Stepanyan and another defendant is ongoing.
Photo: Government Building Annex in Yerevan / © Hetq