The Bulgarian Job

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

Under the names is another apparent Gadzanov signature, smaller and slightly different than the first.

These were the alleged Gadzanov signatures dismissed as fakes by the state's handwriting analyst and vetted as real by Andreev's hired analyst.

Nikolov also gave Britt copies of two witness affidavits. The affidavits claimed that Lane and Kocankov had witnessed Gadzanov sign his will on July 18 at the home on Vista Avenue, and were signed by the two men.

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

The documents all had been filed as part of Andreev's October 5, 2005, probate court motion, which aimed to make Andreev the estate's personal representative.

Nikolov urged Britt to talk to Smith, which he later did. Britt also paid a visit to the Andreevs, where he found Gadzanov's red Honda Civic. Britt had the car seized as he questioned the Andreevs about their right to take Gadzanov's property. He says they lied to him, saying the will and Gadzanov's wallet were in a safety deposit box.

The Andreevs claim they never said any such thing.

Britt later wrote in his report that, on another occasion, Andreev told him the will-signing took place at Gadzanov's home, just as it said on the witness affidavits by Kocankov and Lane.

Andreev says he never said that, either. He accuses Britt of lying.

Britt soon learned from the courts that on October 28, 2005, a week after his investigation had begun, Andreev — with Kocankov's help — had filed a new document in the probate case. The original filing, a week before, had contained the "wrong" first page, Andreev explained to the court. The new document was supposedly the "real" first page of the will — a page of handwritten Bulgarian that matched Ilkov's English translation perfectly.

"This new document is an obvious attempt by . . . Andreev, and possibly other co-conspirators to cover their tracks," Britt wrote in his report.

Strangely, the alleged incorrect first page of the will — the apparent invitation to Gadzanov's nephew — is the same one Lane contends was read to him by Kocankov the night of the will-signing, the one Lane says was part of the will.

Comfortable he could make a case, Britt organized the December 1, 2005, arrests and raids on the properties of Andreev and Kocankov.

News of the arrests reverberated through the Valley's close-knit Bulgarian community. The article in the Republic's Valley & State section by Lindsey Collom mentioned how police suspected Kocankov of involvement in a smuggling ring that brought Eastern Europeans into the United States through Mexico. Police said two undocumented Bulgarian nationals, plus four ounces of cocaine, were found in a house Kocankov owns at 6310 North 15th Street. (Police never did prove who owned the cocaine.)

"Had this not come to our attention, they would have gotten away with this," Britt was quoted as saying in the article.

But Britt was counting his convictions before they hatched.

That the will was later found valid is a testament to the dogged determination of Andreev, who had made his first appearance in probate court three days before the arrests. The group bonded out of jail two days after the arrests, leaving Andreev with plenty of time to attend the important probate hearings. He didn't miss a single one.

The probate court case was heard in 2006, while prosecutors prepared the criminal case. Commissioner Vatz decided for Andreev well before any criminal trial could take place.

Of course, with Vatz's ruling, the criminal charges went south, too.

But despite the fact that all the charges were dropped against the Bulgarians and Lane, Detective Britt remains openly contemptuous of the five.

"Every one of them has lied and is dishonest," he insists, frustration evident in his voice.

On the day of the raids, police had found Lane living at Rumen Kocankov's. Kocankov himself lives in the much nicer home on a golf course.

Lane spoke to Britt briefly in a conversation tape-recorded at a Phoenix police substation.

"I asked Lane if he knows Andrean Andreev," Britt wrote in his report. "Lane responded, 'I may know him by a different name.'"

When shown a picture of Andreev, Lane admitted he recognized the man and stated, "I was introduced to him." Britt interrupted him and asked who introduced them. Lane then stopped talking and asked for a lawyer.

Interviewed at his workplace at the Phoenix vitamin store, Lane denies the statements attributed to him and castigates Britt as "incompetent and dishonest."

Kocankov, according to Britt's report, is suspected of being a kind of Bulgarian coyote, a man who police believe smuggles Eastern Europeans into Arizona from Mexico and helps illegal immigrants file bogus claims for political asylum.

Curiously, some of the immigration paperwork found during the search of Kocankov's house contained Lane's name, Britt says.

A Starbucks near 16th Street and Camelback Road is one of Kocankov's favorite hangouts, and that's where he agreed to meet a New Times reporter for an interview. He's a middle-aged guy with a friendly smile. He's wearing an untucked, sporty, short-sleeved button-down shirt and designer jeans. He apologizes for his lateness for the interview, saying his "sickness" for clothes shopping caused him to make an impromptu run to the nearby Last Chance store.

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Nick Matyas
Nick Matyas

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bath math
bath math

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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,, 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, 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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