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Updated Regularly since the Asbestos Trust Corruption is ongoing….

Opinion (Michael J. Mandelbrot, 25 years Asbestos Plaintiff Attorney)

It’s Official – A Mafia exists in the world of Asbestos Litigation. I know because I worked at a “Mafia” member’s Firm, saw the activities first hand, and have now dealt with these corrupt Fiduciaries (the “Asbestos Trust Mafia”) for over 20 years. Nothing below would be printed were it not true and supported by factual and/or documentary evidence. For 30 years these dishonest lawyers have ‘raped’ Companies, Trusts, and Asbestos Victims to the tune of billions….

The “Asbestos Trust Mafia” – The Most Corrupt Lawyers in the Country

MafiaA mafia is a type of organized crime syndicate whose primary activities are protection racketeering, the arbitration of disputes between criminals, and the organizing and oversight of illegal agreements and transactions. Mafias often engage in secondary activities such as … fraud.

This is where the corruption, fraud, double dipping, and misappropriation of Trust funds exists in Asbestos Litigation…

The goal of the Asbestos Trust Mafia? Divert as much money as possible to Mafia members while harming Asbestos Trust Claimants and Future Claimants – the very individuals they are paid to ‘protect’. Through racketeering, bad faith, and fraud, this Mafia – also Asbestos Trust Fiduciaries – control over 30 Billion Dollars in Trust Funds for victims. To date, documents, evidence, and Annual reports display approximately $1,000,000,000 dollars already misappropriated to the Asbestos Trust Mafia.

So how does the Asbestos Trust Mafia accomplish such impressive fraud? Simple – Knowingly violating the Department of Justice rules on Chapter 11 Trusts in hiring “Interested Parties” (typically former asbestos defense lawyers) and colluding with them to:

A) Allow favorable and preferential treatment to claims filed by “insiders” and member of the Asbestos Trust Mafia (i.e. Steven Kazan and Alan Brayton); The representative of over 15 Trusts – Dan Myer (a mafia member) admitted that “insiders” receive favorable treatment. In fact, rules in EVERY TRUST are (secretly) inserted into Trusts to allow insiders quicker reviews of claims AND more money on ‘identical’ claims filed by others.

B) Conceal liability evidence of Bankrupt Asbestos Companies to reduce present and future claims (by non-mafia members) with every asbestos Trust. As a result, Mafia claims receive more money and favorable treatment.

C) Conceal Fraudulent Asbestos Trust Claims filed  by Asbestos Trust Mafia members (Alan Brayton)- and even pay the claims hundreds of thousands of dollars. Attached are links to just some example of a fraudulent claim filed by Alan Brayton in which he ‘stole’ over $500,000 from the Trust –  Fraudulent Alan Brayton Default Judgement – Western Asbestos – Here, you can see Brayton is a Fiduciary (the Chairman of the Trust Advisory  Committee) of the very same Trust in which he filed the claim. Brayton – Board Member while filing fraudulent claim Fraudulent Brayton Claim – Kananian was never at Hunters Point

D) Filing Fraudulent Declarations with Courts under Penalty of Perjury –  with every Annual Report  — failing to identify payments to “Interested Parties”.  For example, since 2004 interested party and Mafia member Gary Fergus – (a 20 years asbestos defense lawyer with relationships with all Advisory Committee members) has misappropriated at least $10,000,000 personally from Asbestos Trusts, but also has assisted in diverting over $100,000,000 to other Mafia members. The D.O.J. rules on Chapter 11 Trust wholly preclude interested parties such as Gary Fergus working for Trusts. Unfortunately, Asbestos Trust Mafia Members, like Gary Fergus, are involved in every asbestos Trust. Here are the Department of  Justice Rules – Dept. of Justice Trustee Handbook – select portions

E) Divert Millions in Trust Funds to Mafia Members and interested parties who set up “fictitious businesses’ (and bill the Trust millions) to conduct ‘sham’ audits of non-Mafia members. Example – Ankura Consulting – Tom Florence – Chart of Pittsburgh Corning Fiduciary Frauds – Lies, Liars and Corrupt Lawyers

F) Influencing Judges to favor Mafia Members- Specifically ‘Judge’ Sheri Bluebond (BK-Los Angeles). Mafia members (Eve Karasik-Thorpe Trusts – effectively served as her campaign manager for her last ‘reappointment’ bid. Bluebond also simultaneously served on 5 Boards of Directors with Trust Mafia members while presiding over Mafia member Trials (of course, EVERY ruling was for the Mafia members). Improper Relationship – Karasik and Bluebond. Bluebond oversees over $500,000,000.00 in asbestos Trust funds (she ‘approved the Thorpe bankruptcies’ paying Brayton and McClain millions) and makes EVERY RULING to favor the Mafia members.

Here’s a Chart which lays out how this works:  Chart – Bluebond – Following the Money – Following the Corruption. As a favor to “Godfathers” and other Mafia members, Judge Sheri Bluebond has confirmed 2 Trusts AND  approved at least a dozen Annual Reports (J.T. Thorpe, Inc. and Thorpe Insulation) awarding millions to Mafia members. Bluebond is well aware of insider dealing, fraud, and interested parties ‘stealing millions’ – but ignores it. The is the “payoff” to the Mafia for helping get Bluebond “Appointed” to the Bench.

G) Diverting Trust Funds to Mafia members disguised as “Attorney Fees” (clearly, Mafia members are precluded from also collecting these fees by D.O.J. rules – these rules are ignored. See Western Asbestos Trust Annual reports – 2004 and 2005 for details for this fraud.

H) Hiring “Interested” Party (Ankura Consulting) to conduct “Sham Audits” of Claimants Counsel – who assist in concealing the massive fraud of Brayton Purcell ( – corrupt Alan Brayton) and Steven Kazan – Kazan McClain ( – corruption).


The Asbestos Trust Mafia

Lawyers. Fiduciaries. Frauds. 

So who makes up the Asbestos Trust Mafia?


The “Godfathers” of Asbestos Trust Fraud

1) Steven Kazan – The King of Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Fraud.

The man most responsible for destroying more than one hundred once-thriving American businesses and putting tens of thousands of their diversely-colored employees out of work. Kazan – as a “Fiduciary” on 25 Trusts –  then ‘controls’ the Asbestos Trusts through tyranny, fraud, and collusion to misappropriate Trust funds to his firm, his clients and ‘favored’ lawyers.

Serves as a ‘Fiduciary’ on over 25 Asbestos Trusts allowing him to control/collude over $20,000,000,000 (yes, billion) in assets and to divert hundreds of millions to his clients, “interested” parties, lawyers engaging in fraud, and other non-victims/beneficiaries.

Here’s Proof:

  • ACTUAL LANGUAGE FROM ANNUAL REPORTS PROVING THE COLLUSION AND FRAUD: Fees for Plaintiffs’ Firms: In the process of entering the Confirmation Order, the Bankruptcy Court entered Order Regarding Fees Paid to Certain Law Firms, on January 26, 2004 (“Fee Order”), requiring three firms to pay to the Trust a total of $12.3 million in legal fees previously paid to such firms by USF&G. The three firms were Brayton and Purcell, Kazan, McLain, (NOT ONLY DID THESE ‘LOSERS’ RECEIVE OVER 200 MILLION IN ATTORNEY FEES FROM CLAIMS, BUT THEY HAD TO  et al. and the Wartnick Law Firm (hereafter “Plaintiffs’ Firms”). On the Effective Date, the Plaintiffs’ Firms paid such amounts to the Trust, but appealed the Fee Order to the Federal District Court. The Trust put the $12.3 million in a segregated account pending the appeal. The Fee Order was reversed by District Court Order on July 14, 2004. Pursuant to the Court’s Order of July 14, 2004, the Trustees approved payment on July 27, 2004 of the $12.3 million in fees to Plaintiffs’ Counsel. 23. Fees for Special Counsel: Pursuant to this Court’s July 13, 2004 Order of Final Allowance of Contingent Bonus Fees to Debtors’ Special Counsel, the Trust paid fees totaling $35,542,397 to Brobeck, Phleger and Harrison, Faricy and Roen, Miller, Starr and Regalia and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius (THESE ARE STEPHEN SNDYER’S 2 FIRMS – THIS WAS HIS ”PAYOFF” FOR CONSPIRING WITH BRAYTON AND KAZAN) law firms.
  • Kazan is one of the most dishonest, self-dealing and corrupt lawyers in the Country.
  • Controls over 20 billion in Trust funds through fraud, insider dealing, bad faith, and misconduct. Conceals asbestos job sites (preventing future victims from getting compensated from Trusts) from nearly EVERY Trust to which Kazan is a Fiduciary.
  • Has “Secret relationship” w/ Trust fiduciaries at every Trust — (Tom Florence – Executive Director of Ankura; Al Brayton, many others). Most of his Law Firms mesothelioma cases come from mesothelioma Doctor David Jablons, who unethically maintains Kazan’s brochure and intake packet at his office.

2) David McClain – The King Kazan’s partner in crime at Kazan McClain

  • Thinks he’s the ‘smartest guy in the room’…. while engaging in fraud.
  • A true “Lawyer Bully”.
  • The “front man” of Trust Fraud (while conspiring with his partner Kazan and Brayton throughout)
  • Oversaw the entire Western Asbestos $2 Billion Dollar Trust Fraud. “Shopped” around to Plaintiff Attorneys during the case to “cherry pick” cases to deceive opposing Counsel.
  • Co-conspirator in helping create Western Asbestos Trust, Thorpe Insulation Trust, J.T. Thorpe, Inc. Trust and Plant Insulation Trust

3) Alan Brayton – The most dishonest Mafia member of them all. Submitted hundreds of fraudulent and inflated defaults to help create the 2 billion dollar Western Asbestos Trust through collusion with other Mafia members (McClain, Stephen Snyder, Michael Ahrens, Gary Fergus).

4. TOM FLORENCE  – depending on which day it is, he is either misappropriating Trust funds as a “Fiduciary”/Director for the Delaware Trusts (over 1 billion in funds) or for conducting ‘sham’ through Ankura consulting and ‘protecting’ Kazan and Brayton fraud

But Kazan, Brayton, and McClain could not accomplish this ‘feat’ without other Mafia members. We will detail those below.


1. DAN MYER/ROBERT CAPRITTI/KIM LAVIN (OVERSEE A BILLION DOLLARS FOR VICTIMS THROUGH FRAUD) – Their company is Verus Trust Services ( – each of these complete ‘losers’ are former Asbestos Defense lawyers (C.C.R.) which wholly precludes them by D.O.J. rules from serving on Asbestos Trusts, yet they oversees (and assists in misappropriating) over $1,000,000,000.00 in Trusts funds.  Myer is a walking “Pinocchio”. Kim Lavin is ‘affectionately known’ as “The Liar” and a despicable lawyer. Unquestionably, Lavin’s presence at Verus is because she is “dumb enough” to join the corrupt activities after being a failure as a litigator.  Collectively, these 3 have ‘harmed’ tens of thousands asbestos victims through fraud, bad faith,”dis”favoritism (towards anyone but Mafia members).


  • NOTE:  Dan Myer needs his own “special section” here due to the enormous nature of his misconduct – what a loser!
  • Myer exemplifies everything ‘bad’ about lawyers.
  • He’s misappropriated hundreds of millions to favored parties! 
  • The United States Trustee and Attorney General and Supervising Judges have grounds to remove Myer, Lavin and Capritti and “disgorge” every dollar they’ve ‘stolen’ from the Trusts as interested parties.

Conspires and colludes with the Godfathers to ensure their claims are paid, asbestos sites are concealed, and victims lose

2. GARY FERGUS – – another former Asbestos Defense Lawyer (and a bad one at that) who took his companies (Fibreboard) into bankruptcy and then immediately began corrupting Trusts. An “interested party” violating D.O.J. rules who has personally misappropriated (stolen) at least $10,000,000.00 from Trust funds. “Hides” in Trust Annual Reports by serving as the “Attorney for the Futures Representative” — a 90 year old former Judge (Charles Renfrew) who is naive to the fraud and happy to collect his yearly stipend. Fergus should have all monies received over the last 10 years disgorged and returned to victims. A pathetic lawyer who has ‘sponged’ off of victims funds for nearly 15 years.

  • If there was a “Lawyer Buffoon Team” – this loser would have a statue in front of the office.
  • A career Asbestos Defense lawyer who used to extend depositions of dying victims for days just so he could make his billings
  • Stephen Snyder’s “right hand man”  in fraud. Conspired with Snyder and Brayton to misappropriate over a billion dollars to Brayton and Kazan.
  • Would have been unable to find a job if he hadn’t joined the mafia – he was a horrible attorney who sounds “cartoonish” in Court.
  • For a decade, has committed “Elderly Abuse” in working for Judge Renfrew in a capacity that is illegal, fraudulent and despicable.
  • All monies Fergus has received from Trusts over the past 10 years should be disgorged. He’s an ‘interested party’ who has assisted in every step of massive Trust Fraud.

3. KATHLEEN CAMPBELL DAVIS – See prior Posts. Attorney/Fiduciary overseeing billions in Trust funds (Delaware Trusts, General Motors/MLC Trusts) through fraud, bad faith. Conspires and colludes regularly with the underbosses.

4. MARY ELLEN NICKEL – Executive Director of the Delaware Trusts.

  • Has been diverting money to favored parties and harming dis-favored claimants for decades.
  • The “Queen” of Trust Fund misappropriation.
  • An embarrassment to all female lawyers who have achieved success through hard work. She’s a huge fraud.


  • Wholly ignores conflict of interest rules regularly to usurp millions in Trust funds through excessive Trust billing (one day, he’s a Trust lawyer), attorney fees (the next, he represents claimants), and sham audits (the next day, he oversees and review Trust claims for another Trust). A clearly despicable human being and lawyer who makes all lawyers look bad….


  • The biggest criminal of them all.
  • LIED under oath and indicated that he was “retired” and resigned from the Bar to hide his insider dealing
  •  Resigned (as a ‘sham’) from the California State Bar in 1999 so that he could deceive the Court and become Managing Trustee of the Western Asbestos, J.T. Thorpe, Inc. Trust and the Thorpe Insulation Trusts.
  • Personally and individually responsible for misappropriating over $100,000,000.00 in Trust funds from 3 Trusts (www.wastrust;; to himself and Gary Fergus  (see above) and over a $1,000,000,000.00 to the “Mafia Underbosses” Kazan, McClain and Brayton.
  • LINK – Evidence of Insider Dealing – Snyder.  This former defense lawyer (for over 20 years) took Fibreboard into bankruptcy (along with Fergus) through excessive billing.
  • As an ‘interested’ party, should have no dealings on Trusts. The type of lawyer who gives all lawyers a bad name. A real despicable person.
  • Paid himself over $30,000,000 from Western Victim’s funds as a payout for his fraud
  • LINK – Proof of Snyder stealing millions from the Western Trust  – Brayton, Kazan, McClain and Snyder Stealing 47 Million from Victims
  • Here’s What it Says:

Trust paid fees totaling $35,542,397 to Brobeck, Phleger and Harrison, Faricy and Roen, Miller, Starr and Regalia and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius (THESE ARE STEPHEN SNYDER’S 2 FIRMS – THIS WAS HIS ”PAYOFF” FOR CONSPIRING WITH BRAYTON AND KAZAN) law firms. Snyder paid Snyder (himself) over $35 million in Trust funds. No doubt giving a portion to Gary Fergus for engaging in fraud.

7. MICHAEL AHRENS/STEVE SACKS – These are Alan Brayton’s “underbosses” – protecting his crimes through fraud, perjury and bad faith in every instance.

  • Paid millions of dollars to protect Brayton’s fraud.
  • A couple of complete buffoons. Ahrens to ‘fat slob’ who has used his role in protecting Brayton’s fraud as a path to retirement. Sacks is a ‘chronic liar’ – who has committed perjury on multiple occasions. These 2 are complete losers.
  • Ahrens clearly an alcoholic.
  • Millions should be ‘disgorged’ from these two fraud.

8. Laura Paul/Sara Beth Brown- Western Asbestos, J.T. Thorpe Trust, and Thorpe Trust Executive Director and her “right hand dummy’

  • You will not find 2 more incompetent, dishonest, and lying Fiduciaries in the Country
  • Paul and Brown knew NOTHING about asbestos, yet were given this Fiduciary role “if they would engage in fraud”. They agreed and have complied!
  • Have wasted millions in Trust Funds with bad faith litigation, fraud, and misconduct while diverting hundreds of millions to mafia members.
  • Uses Trust Funds to throw “lavish” Annual Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada (as opposed to their locale of Reno) while depriving claimants of monies
  • Laura Paul (aka: 4 x 4 — 4 kids with 4 dads) – The ‘dumbest’ fiduciary in the Country. Never attended a day of ‘real’ college in her life, yet was rewarded with a Fiduciary role overseeing billions Trust claims. Truly a dishonest person who has lied under oath on multiple occasions.
  • Rumored – Paul and Beth Brown have used sexual favors to obtain their role with Trusts.
  • Here is a Deposition of Sara Beth Brown taken March 22, 2010 wherein she is deposed about Al Brayton’s fraudulent claim. Disclosure of this deposition would have resulted in Brayton’s removal and requirement that he re-pay the Trust. Instead – Sara Beth Brown concealed this deposition. Kananian Case.


I will also be adding LOTS more documents and evidence –

I also recommend reading the following article which also details the above –

Bates-White Article_Reorganized Mess – Detailing Bankruptcy Fraud – Misappropriation of Trust Funds by Trustees/Fiduciaries/Lawyers and how it’s accomplished. Kazan. Brayton.






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