Is Attorneys Geragos and Kabateck’s colleague Shant Karnikian Conspiring in the Coverup of Embezzlement of NY Life and AXA French Insurance companies Genocide Victims’ Settlement Funds?
Posted on September. 17. 2023
The investigations are deepening in the Embezzlement of Millions of Dollars from New York Life Insurance and AXA French Ins. Genocide Victims’ Settlement Fund.
A fast-increasing number of readers and TV viewers in the United States and around the world are now closely following these investigations. Many are shocked at the level of corruption and nepotism exhibited from the get-go by Class Action lawsuits initiators attorneys Mark Geragos, Brian S. Kabateck and Vartkes Yeghiayan (now deceased).
Court documents obtained by USA Armenian Life Magazine show that corruption and nepotism were omnipresent in the New York Life and AXA French Ins. companies Genocide victims’ Settlement Fund distribution process.
The court documents clearly show that there have been close communication and collaboration between Class Action attorneys, settlement administrator Mr. Parsegh Kartalian and now disbarred attorney Berj Boyajian. There were also close ties between Boyajian and another player – Avo Avedis Markarian, a banker who enabled Mr. Boyajian to cash several fraudulent checks from the settlement fund. All the involved players are known to have close ties with Armenian Church Western Diocese primate Hovnan Derderian.
Recently, a previously unknown player came to the surface — attorney Brian S. Kabateck’s protégé attorney Shant Karnikian. According to court documents Mr. Karnikian has emerged as someone who seems to be consistently engaged in making gross misrepresentations, self-contradicting assertions in favor of his boss Mr. Kabateck, Esq.
According to court records, Mr. Karnikian has been persistently trying to help Mr. Kabateck to disassociate himself from both Mr. Kartalian and Mr. Boyajian ever since the latter duo have been identified as defrauded the genocide victims’ settlement fund out millions of dollars.
Through extensive verbal gymnastics, Mr. Karnikian has also been muddying the waters regarding the diversion of additional millions of dollars to Loyola Law School.
A while back, LA Times investigative reporters Harriet Ryan and Matt Hamilton’s had asked Mr. Kabateck: “You hired Parsegh Kartalian in 2007, four months before the French settlement board was appointed. Later, after evidence of problems with claims money emerged, you said of the claims process, ‘We (class counsel) had nothing to do with it’ and referred to Kartalian as ‘their employee,’ meaning the board. Were you trying to minimize your role once problems developed? Please explain.”
Answering on Mr. Kabateck’s behalf, Mr. Karnikian had written: “The premise of this question is false. Mr. Kabateck did not hire Kartalian. Kartalian was hired as the claims administrator by the NYLIC settlement board, after being introduced to the board and other class counsel by Mr. Yeghiayan.”
In a follow-up correspondence, LA Times reporters Ryan and Hamilton responded that Mr. Karnikian had written that Brian “did not hire Kartalian” and only secured his “commitment to act as an administrator for the AXA settlement board, if the Board wanted him.”
Ms. Ryan and Mr. Hamilton invited Mr. Kabateck to reconcile that statement with the fact that in 2006, Brian wrote in an email to the other class counsel: “The settlement administrator has to be Parsegh [Kartalian], we just need to negotiate the right price and budget.”
LA Times reporters added: “In December 2006, eight months before the board was appointed, Brian instructed a then associate: ‘Prepare a LOI [a letter of intent] with Parsegh [Kartalian]. Make sure it is clear we are hiring him on behalf of the Axa settlement fund board.’ In a March 29, 2007 letter of understanding, Brian described the letter as ‘an agreement’ between the class counsel firms and Kartalian that ‘will provide clarity to our business relationship…’ The letter identifies Brian [Kabateck] as Kartalian’s contact person and sets his monthly salary ‘for the duration of the project’ and lays out his responsibilities. It does not mention the AXA settlement board. It does not mention securing Kartalian’s commitment to act as administrator or raise the possibility that he would be relieved once the board was in place.”
LA Times reporters further wrote: “In a memo submitted to law enforcement, the French board members stated that ‘the American lawyers’ informed them on Sept. 7, 2007 of the existence of the L.A. office. On that date, the board members told law enforcement, the lawyers also told them that Kartalian had been retained for one year, a period that was to be inclusive of the entire claims process as it was envisioned at that time.”
As the readers can now clearly see, the court records indicate that Mr. Kabateck unilaterally hired Mr. Kartalian as an ‘administrator’ months before the French Board came into being, effectively hijacking the French Board’s rights to hire a candidate with proper credentials and qualification for the position.
And when The Settlement Administrator Parsegh Kartalian got caught red-handed, Geragos and Kabateck played along and agreed to ‘force’ Mr. Kartalian to undergo deposition.
However, both Geragos and Kartalian turned around and indirectly acted as his ‘defense attorneys’ through their proxies.
LA Times reporters Ms. Ryan and Mr. Hamilton further deepened their investigation.
They wrote: “On Nov. 18, 2011, Yeghiayan’s attorney, Roman Silberfeld, urged the court to order Mr. Kartalian’s deposition and wrote of Brian and Geragos’ conduct with regards to his attempts to question Kartalian (#18 in Geragos et al v. Yeghiayan): ‘Months ago, the Court directed that Mr. Kartalian sit down with counsel to discuss the administration of the AXA settlement upon threat of being required to do so in Court and under oath if he did not appear voluntarily. He did not return the call from Michael Geibelson of Robins, Kaplan, Miller and Ciresei, L.L.P., but did ultimately appear voluntarily at the request of the Geragos firm.”
According to Mr. Silberfeld “When he arrived for the examination, Mr. Kartalian refused to permit the court reporter to record and transcribe the examination. Representatives of the Geragos and Kabateck firms also refused to permit the recording and transcription. And, when the question got pointed, Mr. Kartalian was whisked off for breaks with the Geragos lawyers that lasted, in one case, as long as forty-five minutes. The examination occurred for a few hours on a few days spread out over a period of weeks. But ultimately, Mr. Kartalian has not yet been required to answer questions under oath to fully explain the administration of the settlement.”
Ms. Ryan and Mr. Hamilton underlined: “At the January 30, 2012 hearing, it was Yeghiayan’s attorney, Silberfeld, and not Brian, who requested an order from the judge for a deposition of Kartalian. (Geragos was not present in court.) Brian made statements at the hearing suggesting ambivalence. He said, on one hand, that he wanted to get to the bottom of things, but on the other, noted that Kartalian had already been questioned for hours and he favored only “limited” questioning at a deposition.”
Ms. Ryan and Mr. Hamilton further pointed out that “the May 2012 deposition was not the ‘first point where Berj Boyajian was implicated,’ according to emails and records turned over to law enforcement. They show that months before the deposition, Yeghiayan and his associates had reviewed bank records, noted Boyajian’s endorsement on numerous claimant checks and begun tracking down those claimants in Armenia and elsewhere to question them. One example is Iveta Kalantaryan, who Yeghiayan and his associates corresponded with in January 2012. Mr. Boyajian endorsed a check made out to Kalantaryan and she signed a notarized declaration in March 2012 swearing that she had not given him permission to deposit any of her checks.”
In light of extensive verbal gymnastics exercised by Mr. Karnikian in his correspondences with LA Times investigative reporters Ryan and Hamilton, it is fair to ask: Is Mr. Kabateck’s ‘go-to attorney’ Shant Karnikian explicitly muddying the waters in order to shield his boss and Mr. Geragos from serious implications in massive embezzlement of the genocide victims’ settlement fund?