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Mahwah man embezzled more than $800,000 from Armenian Missionary Association, Paramus police charge

Photo Credit: Courtesy PARAMUS PD

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A former employee of member of the Paramus-based Armenian Missionary Association of America embezzled more than $800,000 in donations from the organization over eight years, buying himself electronic equipment that he sold to launder the money, along with a $30,000 car, authorities said.

Tigran Melkonyan, 42, of Mahwah, was charged with theft, money laundering and corporate misconduct following a month-long investigation by Paramus investigators led by Detective Dmitriy Mazur, Police Chief Kenneth Ehrenberg said this afternoon.

Melkonyan, who resigned his position soliciting donors for the association last April, opened several bank accounts in his name and that of the Armenian Missionary Association beginning in February 2006, Ehrenberg said.

He then deposited donations into the accounts and later “transferred the money into another group of investment accounts in order to hide their origin,” the chief said.

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Detectives are continuing to search for all assets connected to the stolen funds. Anyone with information that could help the investigation is asked to contact Mazur: (201) 262-3400, ext. 419.

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Borough detectives arrested Melkonyan at his home last weekend. CLIFFVIEW PILOT withheld news of the arrest pending further investigation.

He remained held on $600,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail, charged with theft, money laundering and operating a corporation to promote criminal activity.


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