The Saga Between Mark Geragos and Vartkes Yeghiayan:
FOLLOW UP 7-26-2011
The Current Saga Between Mark Geragos and Vartkes Yeghiayan:
A Multi-million dollar discrepancy discovered sheds light on a less-than-transparent Armenian Genocide Settlement Fund.
FOLLOW UP 6-18-2011
LOS ANGELES – As Mark Geragos’s counsel stated in their complaint “It is with deep sadness that plaintiffs bring this action” against Vartkes Yeghiayan, Rita Mahdessian, the Center for Armenian Remembrance aka Conservatoire de la Memoire Armenienne, and Yeghiyian Law Corp; it is with great sadness to state that the saga still continues. Although the Summons and Complaint were served on the defendants on or about April 13, 2011, no responsive pleading except for a request to remove the action to the Federal Court has bee sought by attorney Roman M. Silberfeld on behalf of the defendants. The next hearing is set to be a review hearing on July 7, 2011.
Geragos and Kabateck seek punitive damages for fraud, conversion, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract.
Allegations Of Disgrace To Both A Profession And The Community By Two Glendale Attorneys
Mark J. Geragos to the far left and Vartkes Yeghiayan to the far right in the good old days.
It is with great sadness I write this article a few weeks before the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, as Richard Keller, Esq. and Eugene P. Harris, Esq. state in their first sentence of the Complaint of Mark J. Geragos, et al. v. Vartkes Yeghiayan, et al., L.A.S.C. Case No. BC457091, alleging intentional fraud, conspiracy, fraudulent concealment, and several other causes of action for the shameful scheme that Defendants, Vartkes Yeghiayan and Rita Mahdessian personally looted nearly $1,000,000.00 of “cy press” dollars from the class action settlement benefits that were specifically designated by the Court to be used by legitimate charitable organizations to assist the “Armenian Community.”
For those that are unaware, the “cy press” dollars are a portion of the settlement proceeds of sacred life insurance of the victims of the Armenia Genocide that had remained unpaid for nearly a century received in settlement of the class actions of Marootian, et al. v. New York Life Ins., and Kyurkjian, et al. v. Axa, S.A. A portion of the settlement proceeds from these class action suits were designated in the settlement agreement to be returned to the Armenian Community through distributions made to Armenian Charitable Organizations. The two defendants are accused of duping the Court system and their co-counsels in the litigation by creating two charitable organizations that either don’t exist or don’t operate to usurp the funds for their own personal use. What is even more disturbing is that class action attorneys received attorneys’ fees for their work associated in both the actions of more than $1,500,000.00.
Further investigation in the two actions indicates that an internal breakdown of the relationship between co-counsels based on a multitude of accusations between the firms. Specifically, Richard L. Kellner declared under penalty of perjury in Court documents on December 9, 2010 that “In the AXA litigation, a conflict developed between my firm and Geragos & Geragos, on the one hand, and our co-counsel, Vartkes Yeghiayan. Without any proof or substantiation for his frivolous and scurrilous claims, Mr. Yeghiayan asserted that KBK had somehow misused settlement funds in connection with certain expenses. All allegation of misconduct in the AXA matter have been dismissed by Judge Christina Snyder, the United States District Court Judge assigned to that case. Despite repeated attempts by Mr. Yeghiayan to pressure and extort my firm, on February 24, 2010, Judge Snyder denied an ex parte application to have a hearing on Mr. Yeghiayan’s bald claims of misconduct. Indeed, throughout the AXA matter, all disbursements have been fully submitted, reviewed and approved by Judge Snyder. Mr. Yeghiayan’s claims (and those of Mr. Paparian) are completely specious. On June 24, 2010, after another round of accusations of improper conduct, Mr. Yeghiayan submitted another ex parte application to appoint an independent investigator to audit the trust account for the AXA settlement. After a review of the facts presented in Mr. Yeghiayan’s second ex parte application and my firm’s opposition, Judge Snyder again denied Mr. Yeghiayan’s application for the appointment of an independent investigator. After these repeated failed attempts to poison the AXA settlement with baseless allegations and ex parte applications, Mr. Paparian (who we believe has a professional and/or personal relationship with Mr. Yeghiayan) filed a complaint with the State Bar of California against my firm based on the same bald and spurious allegations” to no avail.
At this time the Court docket does not reveal if the Complaint has been served or there are any cross-complaints filed on behalf of the Defendants for allegations of misappropriations. Nevertheless, the Complaint is very detailed and provides evidence that these Defendants’ are the individuals that control and/or created the charitable organization that received the funds in question. In the next few months we will have to wait and see what the truth really is if we ever find out. [For more details on Mark J. Geragos, et al. v. Vartkes Yeghiayan, et al., Case No. BC457091 Download this PDF File].
This column is produced by Mary Der-Parseghian, Esq. For questions or comments, please send your message to 4727 Wilshire blvd., Suite 301, Los Angeles, CA 90010; E-mail: Mary@MaryDLaw.com or call at 323-937-2727. For additional articles please visit our webpage at www.MaryDLaw.com.
© 2011. Der-Parseghian Law Group