Developer of Bellefonte projects sued on behalf of former employer

In the middle of several large construction projects in the State College and Bellefonte areas, developer Ara Kervandjian is facing a civil lawsuit filed on behalf of his former employer, HFL Corp.

The suit, filed in Centre County Court late last week, alleges that while serving as the vice president Kervandjian worked on numerous side projects, including development of Limerock Terrace, the former State College Arby’s site and the housing project known as Bellefonte Mews, according to court documents.

Bellefonte Mews is a 32-unit workforce housing apartment project incorporating the Cadillac Building, Hotel Do De and Garman Theatre. Kervandjian owns all three buildings, which were damaged by fire. Bellefonte Borough Council postponed an expected vote on a demolition request Monday night.

The plaintiffs in the case are listed as Daniel Sahakian, Alex Sahakian and Ludmila Sahakian, who filed the suit on behalf of the corporation. Daniel Sahakian’s brother, Henry Sahakian, is the chairman of the board of directors for the company — and Kervandjian’s father-in-law —but is not listed as a plaintiff, according to the lawsuit.

The Sahakians are asking for counts of diversion of corporate opportunities, breach of duty of loyalty, breach of fiduciary duty, waste of corporate assets and unjust enrichment. They are also asking for an accounting of his assets to determine how much money he made while working on these other projects.

They are seeking reimbursement of all funds he made as an HFL employee and all revenues acquired while working on the other projects in completion with the company. Kervandjian acted as vice president from 2010 until June 2013 and was compensated about $150,000 per year for his work, according to the lawsuit.

Kervandjian boiled down the case to a family dispute and said his relationship with his in-laws is stronger than ever.

“Not unlike other family businesses that sometimes unfortunately have disagreements, this is one of those,” he wrote in an email to the Centre Daily Times.

He also said the charges are “without merit” and the suit will be defended by him and his father-in-law’s side of the family. Kervandjian added that he is excited to continue to work on his projects and move them forward.