Director admits to using fund’s credit card for online gambling
YEREVAN—Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS) on Tuesday placed Ara Vardanyan, the director Hayastan All Armenian Fund under arrest on charges of embezzlement and misuse of funds.
The NSS said that Vardanyan has confessed to misappropriating the organization’s funds, including using Armenia Fund money for online gambling.
According to the NSS, Vardanyan, who was detained on Monday, has admitted using a Hayastan Fund credit card with a limit of 20 million drams (approximately $41,500) for online gambling. He has then used donated funds to replenish the credit card account. According to his own testimony, Vardanyan has then made a personal cash infusion into the funds accounts to cover up the missing money.
According to the NSS, during the last week alone, Vardanyan used nearly 14 million drams ($29,000) from the Hayastan Fund credit card for online gambling. From 2016 to 2018 Vardanyan has reportedly misappropriated approximately 130 million drams (around $270,000) for personal use.
Asbarez spoke to officials at Armenia Fund Inc., the Hayastan Fund’s Western Region branch, whose officials said the Fund will issue a statement regarding the latest developments and Vardanyan’s arrest. Follow Asbarez for the latest developments on this story.
The NSS is continuing its investigation while Vardanyan has been remanded into custody.