THE BEHIND-THE-SCENE PERSON THAT MAY HAVE BROUGHT THE TEAM TOGETHER IN THE EMBEZZLEMENT OF ARMENIAN GENOCIDE VICTIMS SETTLEMENT FUNDS: ARCHBISHOP HOVNAN DERDERIAN
Posted on September. 29. 2022
BY APPO JABARIAN
In a follow-up to its investigative article series on massive embezzlement of New York Life and French AXA Armenian Genocide Victims Settlement funds, The Los Angeles Times published a new article titled “California: State bar announces probe of L.A. lawyers Geragos, Kabateck over Armenian genocide settlement” on Monday September 27.
In response to this latest development, CBS News broadcast a news segment devoted entirely to the State bar’s probe into potential wheeling and dealings by L.A. lawyers Mark Geragos and Brian Kabateck.
CBS News Los Angeles correspondent and a fellow investigative journalist Tom Wait reached out to this writer to discuss the state bar probe. After Mr. Wait’s introduction “Appo Jabarian is in Armenian American journalist here in Southern California who has reported extensively on this issue,” this writer made the following the statement to CBS News Los Angeles: “It’s a double whammy for many American Armenians. Not only the victims of the Armenian Genocide were robbed but also the descendants were robbed of their rights. The funds were not appropriately disbursed to the real victims.”
On March 23, two award-winning investigative staff writers at The Times, Harriet Ryan and Matt Hamilton wrote a comprehensive article titled “A ‘blood money’ betrayal: How corruption spoiled reparations for Armenian genocide victims.” On April 2, Ryan and Hamilton wrote a follow-up article titled “Top CA lawmakers demand investigation of corruption in Armenian genocide victim payments.”
On April 5, they wrote another investigative article titled “California State Bar will investigate Armenian genocide victim payments.” Soon after The Times began publishing the articles, many members of the American Armenian community expressed support. As of press time, Tuesday April 5, The USA Armenian Life TV viewers and readers’ support and approval rate of the investigative article series continued to be high.
Both The Times’s and CBS News Los Angeles/KCAL9’s reports were scathing exposes on the gross mismanagement of the Armenian genocide-era unpaid life insurance policies settlement funds.
Many knowledgeable members in the American Armenian community feel that not only the California State Bar must be involved through a probe but the State and Federal Justice Departments should conduct their own probes as there are many other behind-the-scene players.
A few months ago, the USA Armenian Life TV on AMGA devoted several weekly programs to The Times exposes.
Key individuals who emerged as the main players in The Times stories are:The three lead attorneys — Mark Geragos, Brian Kabateck and Vartkes Yeghiayan;
Although not personally named is the Primate of Western Diocese Archbishop Hovnan Derderian.
The administrator of the claims by Armenian Genocide victims’ heirs, Parsegh Kartalian, a close ‘associate’ Beverly Hills attorney Berj Boyajian;
Pacific Western Bank employee, Avedis Avo Markarian who deposited many of the fraudulent checks for lawyer Berj Boyajian. Who is the glue that brought this team together? Derderian is a longtime close ‘friend’ of Geragos and Kabateck. At one time, Parsegh Kartalian served as the Treasurer of Western Diocese under Arch. Derderian. The Beverly Hills attorney Berj Boyajian has long been an integral part of Western Diocese primate Arch. Derderian’s inner circle. Pacific Western Bank employee, Avedis Avo Markarian has been longtime crony of Western Diocese primate Arch. Derderian. He ‘serves’ as Derderian’s proxy at the Pasadena-based Western Diocese’s St. Gregory Armenian Church. He is a longtime fixture on the St. Gregory Parish Council carrying out Arch. Derderian’s order. (See LA Times article on page E4)