Ex-president Kocharyan’s son charged with money laundering and tax evasion

Fake US dollar notes showing the head of Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan with a long nose are spread across a street leading to a building of Erdogan's AK ruling party during a protest against corruption in Ankara on February 28, 2014. Protestors took to the streets for the fourth consecutive day day in protest against Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government after corruption allegations against the prime minister surfaced.AFP PHOTO/ADEM ALTAN / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

YEREVAN, February 20. /ARKA/. Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS) has charged today Sedrak Kocharyan, the son of ex-president Robert Kocharyan, with the legalization of proceeds received from crime activity and tax evasion in especially large amounts.

According to NSS, in order to conceal the real source and the nature of a large income received from tax evasion, Sedrak Kocharyan legalized it through a number of bank transfers and used the money to buy property.

The NSS, in particular, said that in order to receive $5.3 million, invested by a third party in a company (the origin of that amount is to be revealed yet), Sedrak Kocharyan created a company on his name for the money to be transferred to.

According to the National Security Service, in an attempt to avoid tax obligations arising from that process, Sedrak Kocharyan instructed the director of the aforementioned company, identified as Alexan Vorskanyan, to conclude two fraudulent loan agreements. As a result, $5.3 million were transferred to Sedrak Kocharyan’s personal account as a return on the loan provided.

The director of that company was to pay income tax to the state budget from Kocharyan’s income. However, acting on Sedrak Kocharyan’s order, the director put false data in the consolidated report in order to reduce the amount of income tax payment. The evaded tax amounted to 916,706,560 drams. Along with fines and penalties they grew to 1,968, 627,338 drams (an equivalent of $1.98 million).

“Subsequently, in order to distort and conceal the real nature and source of criminal income, as well as to legalize it, Sedrak Kocharyan concluded various transactions with companies affiliated with members of his family combining that amount with another sum of $5.682.960 and legalized it through a number of banking transactions and the purchase of the Best Western Congress Hotel,” the NSS said.

The NSS said the director of the above-mentioned company, Alexan Vorskanyan, was charged with evading taxes and duties, or other obligatory payments in especially large amounts. It said Vorskanyan admitted his guilt. It said both men gave written undertaking not to leave the town.

The NSS said to clarify the legality of the acquisition of numerous properties and other assets by Sedrak Kocharyan and his family members it is taking large-scale investigative actions.

In a retaliatory statement Sedrak Kocharyan said the case was fabricated. In his words, inaccurate information is accompanied by several facts that do not contain an offense and “are served under a common sauce of lies.”

Ex-president Robert Kocharyan is accused of illegally using Armenian army units against opposition supporters who protested against alleged vote rigging in 2008 February presidential elections. Kocharyan, who served two terms from 1998-2008, rejected the charges as politically motivated.


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