Yerevan Court Sentences Ashot Sukiasyan, Implicated in "Offshore Scandal", to 16 Years on Fraud Charges

Amalia Margaryan

Ashot Sukiasyan, a businessman implicated in an offshore scandal that rocked Armenia in 2013 and most likely paved the way for the resignation of then Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, was today found guilty of fraud and sentenced to sixteen years.

The man Sukiasyan is said to have cheated out of millions is Paylak Hayrapetyan.

Implicated in the off-shore scandal, that revolved around a government-backed program to transform Armenia into a world center for the polishing and sale of diamonds that eventually went belly-up, were RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, Locum Tenens of the Ararat Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church Archbishop Navasard Kjoyan and businessman Ashot Sukiasyan.

Sukiasyan was the one who used Hayrapetyan family property as collateral to receive $10.7 million in loans from AmeriaBank to finance the scheme.

That money eventually disappeared in an offshore maze with Wlispera Holdings Limited at the center.

Hetq revealed that the company had three equal shareholders - RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, Primate of the Ararat Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church Archbishop Navasard Kjoyan and Ashot Sukiasyan. 

 From June 25, 2010 to June 15, 2011, Ashot Sukiasyan received periodic loans of $10.7 million from AmeriaBank. As collateral, however, he used companies owned by Paylak Hayrapetyan and the latter’s son.

Receiving the money, however, Sukiasyan failed to abide by the loan agreement conditions and the business plan he had presented. But this didn’t prevent AmeriaBank to continue freely transferring amounts to several bank accounts owned by companies registered in Cyprus.

When the loans weren’t paid off, AmeriaBank started to auction off Hayrapetyan’s collateral worth some $33 million.

The court also seized over 9 billion AMD from Sukiasyan’s assets to compensate Paylak Hayrapetyan and his son.