The Bulgarian Job

An immigrant wills his estate to a convicted killer from his homeland and dies the next day. Anything smell fishy?

Nobody came over that night, she insists. She would have heard anyone coming or going because her bedroom was next to the driveway and the cottage.

She says Louie was planning to retire by the end of July 2005, and he spoke a few times about wanting to travel to Bulgaria that summer.

Instead, Gadzanov died unexpectedly on July 19 of heart failure, an autopsy determined. Smith found Louie's body two days after the official time of death, sprawled out on his bed in the cottage.

Landon Armstrong
Rumen Kocankov says he helps fellow immigrants when he can.
Laura Segall
Rumen Kocankov says he helps fellow immigrants when he can.

After she called 911, Phoenix Police and Fire Department paramedics came out, followed by workers for the county Medical Examiner's Office, who took Gadzanov's body away.

When things quieted down and Smith was alone in the house, she realized it was up to her to notify someone that her landlord had died. But who? She knew he had no family in the States.

Inside Gadzanov's cottage, Smith found a notebook full of names and phone numbers. She called some of the numbers and told people that Gadzanov had died. Soon, Smith says, Ann Andreev called back, crying and saying she had known Louie for 25 years.

Smith had never met Ann but knew she was the wife of Andy Andreev, one of Louie's buddies who dropped by regularly for beers and chitchat.

Smith says Louie "hated" Ann for unknown reasons. But when Ann insisted on coming over, Smith says, she had no reason to deny the urgent request.

As soon as Ann walked into Louie's cottage, she began filling up shopping bags with personal effects and valuables, Smith says. Ann took his wallet, handgun, pictures, documents, checkbook — just about everything but his clothes. Two days later, Ann came back with a young man and a van. As Smith watched, the pair loaded up Louie's lawn mower, power tools, and TV set. The pair then took off — one in the van, one in Louie's Honda.

That was the last straw for Smith, who alerted Phoenix police about Ann Andreev's actions.

The cops came over, but they didn't stay long, deeming the situation a civil matter because the victim was deceased and no foul play was suspected.

Smith could recall to a New Times reporter the details from those July days two years ago partly because she had told Detective Britt the same story when he came to interview her three months after Gadzanov's death.

Britt knew that if Smith was right, then somehow, some way, the will filed in court had to be a forgery. Smith was possibly the most important witness in his case.

But when it came time to give a deposition last year in the probate court trial — which resulted in Gadzanov's estate going to Andreev — Smith was allowed to opt out of testifying. She had undergone an angioplasty a week before her scheduled appearance, and she was afraid the stress might kill her.

"I didn't want to sit in that courtroom, across from [convicted killer Andy Andreev]," she says. "I'm feeling guilty [now]. I should have done more."

In a mystifying omission, the County Attorney's Office could have forced her to talk but didn't. Barnett Lotstein, spokesman for County Attorney Andrew Thomas, says Smith's health wasn't the reason for the county's failure to depose Smith, but he refuses to elaborate.


Tom Britt has been with the Phoenix Police Department since 1994. He worked the streets before hooking up with the Organized Crime Bureau in 1997. Fluent in Russian, Britt has gotten more than his 15 minutes of fame.

Back in 2001, an informant of his, 21-year-old Konstantin Simberg, was murdered. Britt had been on the phone with Simberg when the young Russian immigrant was kidnapped by a group tied to a failed robbery of a million dollars in human growth hormone. The case was featured on America's Most Wanted five times, until the capture last April of the last of the three kidnappers.

Britt first heard of a possible scam involving some Bulgarians in mid-October 2005 from a source who told him to talk to Jordan Nikolov, a man who had been in touch with relatives of Gadzanov's. The dead man's family had given Nikolov power of attorney to handle the estate. The only problem was, when he went to court to file probate paperwork, he found out that Andreev had beaten him to the punch.

Nikolov obtained copies of what Andreev had submitted, which he gave to Britt. This constituted the document that, three weeks later, Britt would show to Ilkov during his traffic stop. Only the document's second page reads like a will, the page that matches part of Ilkov's English translation.

Britt, who understood some Bulgarian, and Nikolov agreed that the first page of the document was nothing more than a letter, possibly written by Gadzanov, inviting the nephew, Slavcho, to the United States. Britt later hired a company to translate the page, and an interpreter reached the same conclusion.

Nikolov, rumored to have gone back to Bulgaria, couldn't be reached for this story.

The third and last page of the document contains what appears to be a shaky signature by Gadzanov, the date of "7-18-05," and, the printed names of the three witnesses: Andreev, Kocankov, and Lane.

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3 comments
Nick Matyas
Nick Matyas

It's really an impressive posting. I liked it & think that it will be helpful for others. Keep up the good work. Good luck.

Web Royalty

bath math
bath math

very nice blog......i like your posting ,this is the better blog.

Bathmate

paul_vincent_zecchino
paul_vincent_zecchino

Fishy? Nah. Business as usual in the Tapeworm Economy. Estate grifting is lucrative. Rented-pens with law degrees pimp it every day to senile old men. They stoke the anger which accompanies dementia and turn demented fathers against rightful inheritors, so as to loot millions. They split ill gotten gains with leeches who arrive as death nears.

When responsible adult offspring catch on, these rented pen lawyers attack with Judicial Terrorism. Judicial Terrorism is setting up the innocent on false charges so as to take their liberty and wealth, and get profitably away. I experienced it. Have you? Google "Case No. 04-6085-CA". "Perjury Pat" Stoye of The Marco Island Police Department lied against me. Her lies were pimped by rented-pens George Allen Wilson, II, of Cheffy, "We Make Housecalls!" Passidomo, and Mark V. Silverio. They reportedly boasted of 'imprisoning Paul Zecchino for thirty years without inconvenience of Court scrutiny'.

Since when is 'court scrutiny' inconvenient - to anyone besides lying gutless thugs?

My mother was poisoned for refusing to divert The Living Trust of 1957 to Lifespan HMO, www.lifespan.org, Providence, Rhode Island. Millions in my name and hers were coveted by Lifespan. Girard R. Visconti, Esq., 'masterminded this chicanery' by which my 98 year old, long in dementia father was unduly influenced into handing our family wealth to a corrupt HMO. Wilson declared me deceased. He did likewise to my wife. My wife! Talk about a 'red flag'! They thought we wouldn't notice? Why do they think their threats will forestall inevitable legal consequences? Their so-called evidence against me was all lies. Facts exonerated me. Cops called their 'Injunction' an 'a/wipe'.

After my mother, Julia M. Zecchino was murdered, her remains were quickly cremated. Contrary to Florida Law, The Marco Island Police Department admits they have no Death Report. Fishy? Nope. Business as usual.

I write to caution others about this 'crime syndicate'. They attacked us smoothly, without one scintilla of concern for legal consequences. Cops say that means they're is practiced, cunning, well-schooled....they'll do it to others'. I write in hope others will take note, steer clear of them and the troubles that accompany them.

Estate Grifting today is big business. Gothic Novels described it. Daphne DuMaurier's novel, 'My Cousin Rachel', describes what Zecchino Estate Grifters did to us as if they used DuMaurier's novel as a blueprint.

In our case, people are dead before their time. Investigators advised us to live carefully, as The Living Trust of 1957 is valid, albeit hijacked. My late mother and I are beneficiaries. That makes for an interesting life, to quote a Chinese curse.

Murder outs. Always. What seems a high flying gag goes along great. Then, as Sheriff Joe "Pink Panties" Arpaio recently learned, it goes bad, it goes very bad.

Check out my article on www.etherzone.com, to appear Monday or Tuesday, 29/30 of October, regarding Arpaio's Judicial Terrorism against The Phoenix New Times. Every criminal scheme, every police state gag carries within the seeds of its own destruction.

Murder outs - always. Truth can never be buried.

Dr. Paul Vincent Zecchino Manasota Key, Florida 28 October, 2007

 
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