Editor’s Note: Below is a statement issued by Brian S. Kabateck in response to LA Times article “Blood Money Betrayal: How Corruption Spoiled Reparations for Armenian Genocide Victims.” The opinions and statements expressed herewith are that of the author.
LOS ANGELES — Brian S. Kabateck, Class Counsel in the Armenian Genocide Insurance Litigation, today offered an open invitation to the Armenian Bar Association to conduct a thorough investigation into Kabateck LLP’s handling of the landmark AXA settlement.
Mr. Kabateck sent a letter to the Armenian Bar Association that addresses the March 23, 2022 Los Angeles Times article: A ‘blood money’ betrayal: How Corruption spoiled reparations for Armenian genocide victims, an article that recycles decade-old, baseless, and previously rejected conspiracy theories.
“I have always been troubled and saddened by the deplorable actions of the criminals who conspired to steal money from the Armenian community and the rightful heirs of those who perished during the Genocide,” wrote Kabateck. “That’s why I worked so hard to uncover the crimes committed by Vartkes Yeghiayan, who died while being prosecuted by the State Bar; Rita Mahdessian, a convicted criminal with multiple suspensions of her license to practice law; and Berj Boyajian, who was prosecuted for his actions which I assisted in bringing to light.”
The letter details the lack of any new revelations in the Los Angeles Times. The “investigation” the reporters purport to have conducted entailed speaking with associates of Mr. Yeghiayan, who are seeking to avenge his deservedly sullied reputation. This story was made public and laid to rest almost a decade ago. The allegations were investigated and rejected numerous times by the United States District Court, the State Bar of California, and various prosecutorial authorities.
The article also states that Class Counsel actively denied claims. That was solely the obligation of a settlement claims board. Mr. Kabateck had zero involvement in the decision-making process. The claims board made the recommendations, which were then approved by U.S. District Court Judge Christina A. Snyder. Despite it being well documented that Mr. Kabateck was never involved in any aspect of any part of the claims process, the LA Times ignored the evidence and implied that he was part of the decision to deny claims.
Prior to the story’s publication, the Times submitted more than 60 questions to Kabateck, LLP. Attorneys spent more than 100 hours researching the allegations and insinuations before providing a 24-page response, which debunked all of the allegations. Not only did the Times failed to publish those responses, it also failed to disclose that the conspiracy theories peddled by Mr. Yeghiayan’s surrogates turned out to be nonsense.
KBK offered—without any conditions—to allow an accountant hired by the Times to review both the firm’s and Mr. Kabateck’s personal finances to dispel even the slightest insinuation that he received any benefit from Yeghiayan’s criminal conspiracy. The Times refused the offer and failed to disclose our offer and their refusal.
The firm also offered to share the cost of having a law firm selected by the Times to investigate these insinuations and determine whether there was any legal or ethical misconduct by the firm. Yet again, the LA Times refused the offer, and failed to disclose their refusal.
Mr. Kabateck adds in the letter that he suggests investigating the LA Times motives in writing a clearly erroneous article. It is sad that this misinformation campaign deliberately aimed at fomenting division among the largest Armenian diaspora community in the world is being circulated just weeks before Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.
Brian S. Kabateck is the founding and managing partner of Kabateck LLP and a preeminent leader in the fight to ensure access to the justice system. Mr. Kabateck serves as Loyola Law School’s Chairman of the Board and a trustee of Loyola Marymount University (LMU). He is the immediate past president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), and a recent past president of the Century City Bar Association, and Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC).
Open Letter to Lawmakers: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1x3umpk0Mnel4CK7gBc9ED6jzcOPjX0Hw/view?usp=sharing
Link to letter: https://drive.google.com/file/d/19WJiA_8DFfx7S-Ivt4wlKcDvjqf_K3Vd/view
Link to Q & A with Los Angeles Times:
Link to Court Documents: https://drive.google.com/file/d/18n8X4QvXcL42t-f145CKazpG3pnBqfpn/view?usp=sharing