Sons of mafia lawyer win big

Sunday Herald Sun - - News - AN­THONY DOWSLEY

THE lion’s share of the es­tate of mur­dered mafia lawyer Joe Ac­quaro has been awarded to two of his three sons.

In a pro­tracted and bit­ter dis­pute, Alessio and Adri­ano Ac­quaro, who sued to in­crease their 20 per cent share in the es­tate, have been paid an ex­tra­or­di­nary sum to walk away.

The Sun­day Herald Sun be­lieves they dou­bled their in­her­i­tance and were awarded be­tween $1.5m and $1.8m in an undis­closed set­tle­ment with the es­tate’s ex­ecu­tor, their un­cle Mas­simo Ac­quaro.

They were left an in­her­i­tance of about $330,000 each by their es­tranged father, pic­tured. The Sun­day Herald Sun has been told the set­tle­ment was reached after months of in­tim­i­da­tion, in­clud­ing two vi­o­lent at­tacks on Adri­ano.

The Sun­day Herald Sun has seen video of in­ci­dents that show Adri­ano be­ing hit by some­one he is talk­ing to in Novem­ber last year and March this year. Nei­ther at­tack was re­ported to po­lice.

The messy le­gal bat­tle has taken place while Joe Ac­quaro’s mur­der re­mains un­solved and the sub­ject of con­fu­sion over what mo­ti­vated his killer to shoot him on March 15, 2016.

Mas­simo Ac­quaro, Joe’s brother, was re­ported to be dis­traught at the me­di­a­tion.

“You’re tear­ing me apart like a rag doll,” he is said to have told his neph­ews.

The odd out­come, reached after months of tense ne­go­ti­a­tions, leaves their older brother Al­fredo cut out of his in­her­i­tance. The other bene­fac­tors, Joe Ac­quaro’s four neph­ews and nieces, have also lost out in the set­tle­ment.

The Sun­day Herald Sun un­der­stands that the two younger brothers are close to An­to­nio and jailed drug traf­ficker Frank Madaf­feri. They were present at court to sup­port Madaf­feri in his at­tempt to ap­peal his con­vic­tion over the “Tomato Tins” ec­stasy case.

Al­fredo Ac­quaro Sr is be­lieved to have con­trib­uted fi­nan­cially to the set­tle­ment after buy­ing out his de­ceased son’s busi­ness, Gelo­bar cafe in Brunswick East, out­side which the lawyer was shot.

It is be­lieved the fam­ily was des­per­ate to avoid court ac­tion, which may have ex­posed deep fam­ily rifts. Among those is­sues was Joe Ac­quaro’s vi­o­lent streak, de­tailed in Alessio and Adri­ano’s af­fi­davits.

Joe Ac­quaro made his last will and tes­ta­ment on Au­gust 28, 2015, only months after po­lice in­ves­ti­gated sus­pi­cions a con­tract had been taken out on his life.

The homi­cide squad con­tin­ues to in­ves­ti­gate the death of Joe Ac­quaro, who had rep­re­sented high-pro­file gang­land and mafia fig­ures. an­thony.dowsley@news.com.au

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