YEREVAN - Since 2017, nearly 100 Armenian citizens have served as proxy directors for a network of companies that have been used by prominent Eastern European oligarchs to move millions of dollars, shift assets from shuttered banks abroad, and pay for lobbying services in the United States.

Armenian Proxies Travel The World To Help Oligarchs Secretly Move Millions

Many of the companies are shareholders of each other and nearly all of them have similar websites that were created by two men. Some of the companies have even been directly involved in the Russian laundromat, where $1 billion was stolen from Moldova.

Most of the companies moved money using invoices for goods such as textiles, equipment, and agricultural items, although it’s doubtful there was any physical exchange of goods. Some of the companies also used a Bulgarian brokerage company to transfer money via security trades. 

Reporters from Forensic News and Hetq interviewed many of the directors, and analyzed invoices, court cases and bank records to get an understanding of how the scheme worked.

Team members

Matt Bernardini

Matt Bernardini is a journalist based in the United States.

Matt Bernardini

Kristine Aghalaryan

Kristine Aghalaryan is an Armenian journalist.

Kristine Aghalaryan

Scott Stedman

Scott Stedman is an American investigative journalist.

Scott Stedman

Rima Grigoryan

Rima Grigoryan is an investigative journalist based in Armenia

need resources for your own investigative story?

Journalismfund Europe's flexible grants programmes enable journalists to produce relevant public interest stories with a European mind-set from international, national, and regional perspectives.


support independent cross-border investigative journalism

We rely on your support to continue the work that we do. Make a gift of any amount today.