Naked City

Update: Lazarus Lip-Lock

It took a while for a process server to find her, but when Lisa Dean Kaspar finally appeared in court on Tuesday to testify in the bankruptcy trial of Gary Bradley, the notary public took the Fifth Amendment.

Kaspar applied that legal protection – generally used to avoid incriminating oneself under oath – in response to nearly every question asked of her, including the single most important query that creditors' lawyers had been waiting for months to ask: Had Bradley or associates Jim Gressett and Brad Beutel ever asked her to backdate a document relating to a Bradley-related entity? (See Lazarus, Come Forth).

Before taking the stand, Kaspar's lawyer had notified attorney Frank Ikard that his client would be entering a Fifth Amendment plea, but hearing those words in an open courtroom added juice to Ikard's theory of foul play in connection with Bradley's business dealings.

Creditors' lawyers rested their case Tuesday, and Bradley's legal team began calling witnesses, beginning with Gressett and Bradley's sister, Kaye Bradley (formerly Kaye Hulse). Bradley's attorneys, Eric Taube and Ray Battaglia, each elicited testimony that supported Bradley's insistence that he had nothing to do with the formation of the Lazarus Exempt Trust, which his sister created four years ago in his behalf. Creditors' lawyers assert that Bradley is hiding assets in the trust to avoid paying his debts. Bradley's sister testified that she opened the trust for her younger brother four years ago, after doctors had given her slim chances of surviving breast cancer. Asked by Ikard why she never contributed more than $1,000 to the trust, she testified that she did so indirectly, by making high-dollar loans to her younger brother – loans that she never expected to be repaid.

Ikard's theory is that Bradley's sister was advised to create a spendthrift trust in order to protect the trust's assets from Bradley's creditors. But Kaye Bradley gave no indication that she was aware of any ulterior motive. "I trusted him 100 percent," she said. At press time, Ikard was beginning his cross-examination of Gressett. The trial is expected to end Friday.

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