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Samson Martirosyan

Washington Post Reveals How Armenian Immigrant Made Millions Fixing Tennis Matches

The Washington Post has published a two-part article focusing on Grigor Sargsyan, known as the “Maestro”, who amassed millions by fixing tennis matches throughout the world.

The article (THE MAESTRO: The man who built the biggest match-fixing ring in tennis) written by Kevin Sieff, exposes how Sargsyan, whose family immigrated to Belgium from Armenia in 1999, had penetrated the $50 billion tennis gambling industry and had built a roster of over 180 professional players across five continents.

Sargsyan then paid them more to lose matches, or parts of matches, than they could make by winning tournaments.

Grigor Sargsyan was born in 1990 in Armavir. His parents cleaned houses and worked in construction in Brussels. They lived in Saint-Josse, the city’s poorest neighborhood and an arrival point for migrants from around the world.

Sieff weaves a fascinating tale of how Belgian investigators first got win of Sargsyan and his Armenian cohorts and had their telephones bugged.

Sargsyan’s lucrative game fixing ended in June 2018 when a Belgian SWAT team raided his house.

“Sargsyan lunged for his phones, but the officers got to them first. They put him in handcuffs and listed the charges against him: money laundering and fraud,” Sieff writes.

As investigators got closer to arresting him, they concluded that Sargsyan was working on behalf of a transnational criminal syndicate based in Armenia. 

He was sending millions of dollars to a man in the country’s capital, Yerevan.

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