A U.S. District Court judge ruled this week that an accounting firm can halt what so far have been unsuccessful efforts to contact 16 descendants of Armenian Genocide victims who are due payouts from an insurance fund.
Judge Christina Snyder said the numerous attempts by Holthouse, Carlin, and Van Trigt to reach out to the final batch of 159 claimants had been sufficient.
There is less than $500,000 left in the settlement account, according to the latest status report filed in court.
Snyder also ruled that the attorneys working on the case — Mark Geragos, Brian Kabateck and Roman Silberfeld — can spend up to $15,000 to continue trying to contact the non-responsive claimants.
To that end, Snyder ruled that all settlement money set aside by French insurer Axa S.A. shall remain in the compensation fund.
Snyder also ruled that the money due to four claimants who have since died should be paid to their descendants so long as they can prove they are heirs.
Snyder also ordered banks that handled past settlement transactions to hand over various forms and documents to see if any fraudulent transactions have occurred.
The request comes in the wake of questionable financial activities involving Los Angeles attorney Berj Boyajian, who endorsed 17 checks totaling more than $312,000 that were made payable to compensation claimants.
He then deposited them into an account called Boyajian and Associates at Union Bank.
The original lawsuit stems from allegations made by Glendale-based attorney Vartkes Yeghiayan that there were accounting discrepancies in the fund set up by Axa S.A.
He had initially requested an audit of all 3,000 claims.
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