In March 2011 Barkats (an attorney licensed in Washington DC and in France as well) was instructed in writing by Hannover Leasing, in Germany, to STOP telling people that he was brokering the sale of their property, being the Palladium Shopping Mall in Prague, in the Czech Republic. So he chose to go on "brokering the sale" but he pretended to be the OWNER of the mall and not the broker arranging a sale between seller and buyer. He had several times done deals like this where he would pretend to be buying a property from the owner, and pretend to be selling it to a purchaser, and close both deals the same day, never transferring the property to himself but collecting two fees (both for selling brokerage and for buying brokerage) while he slipped out of the middle. He managed to somehow convince buyers that he was a bona fide owner while he did this; many times he simply created documents by "artful photocopying" to convince people that the deals were kosher. He usually tried to involve some secondary personnel to allegedly hold the property or broker something in the middle, promising them big fees for the deals closing. While he was selling the Palladium (with the consent of neither the owner nor any purchasers) he managed to "borrow" hundreds of thousands of dollars from unwitting "investors" while he had them paying for his hotel bills and taking him out for lunches and dinners as he did his wheeling-dealing. He also hired secretaries and gave them inflated titles such as "project manager" and promised them salaries which he then never paid them. When he was put into involuntary bankruptcy by three American creditors he put in a false affidavit from Paris claiming that he had lived at 54 Victor Hugo Street in Paris all the while he was living and doing "business" in the Washington, DC metro area. A bankruptcy judge believed him and kicked the case back to square 1 threatening to dismiss it without his creditors getting one cent unless they figured out how to serve him all over again. He finds cash to pay lawyers to defend him against all actions but he never finds cash to pay his hapless creditors. Apparently, he is now living high on the hog in Paris while he has supplied a false address to the DC Court, hoping he can waste more of his creditors' time and money running around in circles trying to recoup their losses.
He has in the past worked with some actual businessmen and some ethical (probably) lawyers. Some of these are probably unaware of the scams that he is now running and of how many victims he has accumulated. He assigned nearly the entire house to his ex-wife in his Washington DC divorce in order to protect it against the claims of his creditors; he also set up a fake trust for his (grown) children so he could shelter money that he has arranged could never be spent, even on his own children, without his signature on every single disbursement -- obviously so that he could manage to appropriate that money as well in the future once his creditors give up trying to collect.
A very dishonest, slippery, nasty, and unscrupulous lawyer. The Bar Counsel in DC has never even investigated him although they have received call after call after call from his victims. They recite a silly little clause about not being responsible for civil actions against lawyers; yet to start a criminal action against him, the creditors would have to convince the DA to take on a case against a defendant hiding in France and hard to pin down.
Meanwhile, he assaults women who work for him if they ask for their money. One such woman is finally suing him in France and has already registered her complaint with the French Bar. They may take it more seriously there than the American Bar Counsel (notoriously weak when asked to discipline its favored little clique) here.