Hayastan All Armenian Fund Director Arrested for Embezzlement

Director admits to using fund’s credit card for online gambling

YEREVAN (Asbarez)—Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS) on Tuesday placed Ara Vardanyan, the director of “Hayastan” All Armenian Fund (Armenia Fund, for short) 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 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.

The Armenia Fund, Inc, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-governmental, non-political corporation, was established in 1994 in Los Angeles, California. It has long been the object of criticism from across Armenia and the Diaspora for the large amounts of money it generates in donations and the relative lack of transparency in exactly how these large sums are allocated in Armenia.

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 in the coming hours. Follow Asbarez for the latest developments on this story. The NSS is continuing its investigation while Vardanyan has been remanded into custody.


  1. This son of a dog needs to be strung up. Shameless animal.
    The board of directors needs to be held accountable as well. Terminate them all, investigate all. Disband it. Reform it.

  2. I was disappointed that our Armenian Funds were embezzled by it’s Director of the Hayastan All Armenian Fund by Ara Vardanyan in the amount of approximately $4l,500. I can’t believe we don’t have a staff to see how our money is not followed through dollar for dollar. We may lose millions of donations in the future if our staff does not follow up on this issue.

  3. It was disappointing to hear that our Armenian Funds were embezzled by it’s Director Ara Vardanyan. He should be jailed & the $41,400. he took must be returned & fined. In the future numerous Armenians will not be making donations to the Armenian Fund. The whole staff must be investigated & possibly removed.

  4. This is terrible. The “what did you expect” excuse is BS. I had faith that a huge charity like Armenia Fund had smart people involved, the smartest (most honest) people involved, who put safeguards in place. Millions of dollars were being donated from good-hearted Armenians in the Diaspora. SAFEGUARDS should have been in place. Is this how Armenian millionaires run their businesses? Of course not. — With all the “rumors” about corruption at Armenian Fund, the leadership should have put double or triple safeguards in place. They should know that human nature is a strange thing, sometimes. Truly, UNBELIEVABLE. —- I will not accept any excuse.

  5. I cannot say I am surprized. This is just the beginning. If they dig deeper I am sure there are more people who embezzled funds from Armenia Fund. I will personally never send my money to these crooks. Donate directly to families in need there.

  6. It (the fund) has long been an object of criticism, the article says. Where has this criticism been published? I think there is too much wise after the event writings about the various corruption and criminality cases that are emerging in Armenia. Some contrition from media sources that their silence often contributed to the corruption and criminality problems would be honest and would also encourage better things for the future.

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