On 13 August this year, the RA Government sold the Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex (SCC) for $ 30 million. The buyer is NTAA Investment Group Ltd. registered on 20 July of this year.
The 3-month-old company has taken on quite serious responsibilities, that is: Making investments worth at least $1 billion and creating 250 new jobs during four years.
A man by the name of Armen Zaven Gevorgyan is mentioned in the RA Ministry of Justice Agency of the Public Register of Legal Entities as the founder of NTAA Investment Group. It turns out though that in reality this person has nothing to do with this company as its only owner happens to be Vahak Dino Awadisian, a U.S. citizen.
In response to Iravaban.net’s inquiry, the Ministry of Defense has provided a copy of the real estate sale and purchase agreement signed on 1 September according to which the seller is the RA Minister of Defense Seyran Ohanyan whose authorized person is Arayik Torgomyan, and the buyer is the company NTAA Investment Group which is represented by its president Vahak Dino Awadisian who also happens to be the only shareholder of the company.
Interestingly, on 1 September, the very day of signing the sale and purchase agreement, Vahak Dino Awadisian became the president and the only shareholder of the company, and the legal address of the company changed. It’s currently registered at the address 62 Komitas Ave. which is also listed as Mr. Vahak Dino Awadisian’s home address.
This is to state that at the moment when the Government made a decision to alienate the real estate property Armen Gevorgyan was the founder of NTAA Investment Group and the company was registered at his home address whereas the new president and only shareholder Awadisian emerged on the day of signing the sale and purchase agreement.
Who is the New Owner of SCC?
It turns out that Vahak Dino Awadisian is a resident of Beverly Hills, the élite district of Los Angeles. He is famous for founding the website uploaddemo.com alongside Mike Davtyan in 2012. The website was created to support emerging musicians on their way of entering show business. As for the moment, the website doesn’t work. As we can see on Awadisian’s LinkedIn page, the website operated for less than a yar. He had previously worked in the fields of construction and property sales.
But there are even more interesting episodes in this man’s life. In particular, he was involved in securities fraud. On 5 February 2014 he got arrested in the International Airport of Los Angeles. He was suspected of being involved in investment fraud scheme connected with Synergy Finance Group. In addition, he was suspected of selling non-registered securities, sale of securities, and fraud by a non-registered agent. Vahak Dino Awadisian seems to have been involved in shady deals before as well. We found this out on his personal blog where he had made his last note in 2011.
“In August 2009 my name was posted on the internet under thief scammer liar. I tried everything about the person that posted this none sense about me, but no one really was able to help me. So I had my attorneys work on this, it cost me over 120K and 9 months of trial I have 5 so called brokers arrested and 2 website to pay me over 5M.”
We have sent an inquiry to Vahak Awadisian on this information as well as the Sports and Concerts Complex investment project. We will inform you about his response in case of getting one.
Questions left Unanswered
In September 2005 for the first time the Government sold the Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex to a private company BAMO. In 2013 the Government went to court demanding that $10.2 billion be confiscated from the CJSC Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex for failing to fulfill its loan commitments. After the suit was met the Judicial Acts Compulsory Enforcement Service put the real estate up for auction but it never had a buyer even though the price kept falling by 10 % every time a new auction announcement was issued. In August of last year it was made state property by the decision of the Government and was registered in the balance of the Ministry of Defense. Although the representatives of the company BAMO filed suits against the state for taking the SCC back and putting it up for auction, the Government continued its actions and sold it to NTAA Investment Group on 1 September this year.
The legal justification for the latest deal is the Government’s 935-A decision according to which the real worth of the property sold for $ 30 million is twice as high as that – about $ 60 million.
“Take back the property (hereafter – property) attached to the state non-commercial organization of the RA Ministry of Defense Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex and consisting of a 46335.7 m² sports and concerts center (located at the address of Tsitsernakaberd Park, a state property of the Republic of Armenia, estimated on 12 August 2015 at the price of 27,568,962.455 AMD in the order prescribed by the RA Government decision N 209 from 27 March 1998), 40.0 m² and 50.0 m² auxiliary constructions, 2800.0 m² pools and staircases, a 3851.3 m² pool, and 9.559587 hectares of owned land estimated in the inventory at the price of 1,575,037.555 AMD, and alienate it by selling to the limited liability company NTAA Investment Group (hereinafter – buyer) (address: 22/15 Hr. Kochar Str., Arabkir 0012, Yerevan, RA).”
We haven’t received a response to our question on how the property worth $60 million was sold for a price twice as cheap. The question was addressed to theChief of Government Staff, minister Davit Harutyunyan who inscribed the question to the Ministry of Defense that sent us the following response: “The alienation price of the SCC property was determined by the SNCO Agency for State Property Inventory and Assessment of the State Property Management Department adjacent to the RA Government.”
Another important question was left unanswered as well: What are the guarantees that the company NTAA Investment Group will fulfill the assumed obligations. By saying “guarantee” we meant whether the corresponding documents on financial flows or preliminary cooperation agreements between this company and other companies, etc. were presented to the Government. In response to this question, they said that according to the Government’s above mentioned decision935-A, the buyer is called to account for not complying with or not fully complying with the obligations assumed by the agreement in the order prescribed by the RA legislation and the agreement, and the oversight over the fulfillment of the obligations assumed by the buyer is reserved for the State Property Management Department adjacent to the RA Government.
We would like to mention that according to the concise investment project of the company, concerts, sport events and other events of state importance are to be organized and hotels are to be built in the adjacent area that will include spots of entertainment, including casinos. The company commits to create at least 250 new jobs and make investments worth at least $1 billion.
It was also mentioned in the preliminary version of the investment project that the complex management will be carried out by an international PR body that will collaborate with big internationally acclaimed marketing and tourism agencies. The following question has been left unanswered as well: Was any preliminary agreement presented to the Government proving that at least one internationally acclaimed company is ready to collaborate with NTAA INVESTMENT GROUP, Ltd.
By the way, the provision in the investment project on casinos that are going to operate in the area caused a big stir. We would like to mention that according to the law “On Gambling Games and Casinos” automatic gambling games or online gambling games are allowed within the administrative borders of Tsakhkadzor, Jermuk, Sevan, and Meghri communities in areas meeting the criteria set by the RA Government at a distance, prescribed by the RA Government, from educational, historical, and cultural centers, administrative buildings of state and local bodies of self-government, and hospitals.
Since the SCC buildings and constructions along with their service area are included in the list of historic-cultural monuments, the only thing left for this company to say is that gambling games are not going to be allowed in the casinos to be built.