Sunday Herald Sun


Conman’s elderly mum says son is already dead to her


ACASANOVA conman’s elderly mother says she hopes to never lay eyes on her cruel, lying son again. Gianna Cristallo, 76, says she was left homeless and financiall­y stricken after the family’s Melbourne business — directed by Paul Carter — was driven into the ground.

Carter would go on to fool her sick, ageing partner, Jim Quattrocel­li, 75, into handing over his home and land for a “retirement investment”, the family claims.

His home was bulldozed before Carter, having secured a bank loan for the project, fled to the US, sources say. “I just can’t believe a son could do that to his mother,” Ms Cristallo said. “He is so good at lying he deserves a gold medal.”

It comes after the Herald Sun yesterday revealed that the fantasist duped two wives, a fiancee and several businesses and clients out of millions of dollars in an elaborate series of scams spanning two continents. The Sunday Herald Sun can further reveal that Carter, 52, has been accused of running a Melbourne church charity into the ground, leaving it on the brink of collapse, while he was its CEO.

Both Gianna Cristallo and her partner were left with almost nothing after Carter duped them, she said.

What should have been their golden years have instead been spent paying rent and living off the pension.

The elderly couple described Carter as “the biggest crook in the world”.

His mother said she would never forgive her son.

“I got left out on the streets with absolutely nothing,” Ms Cristallo said. “I really don’t want to talk to him and I really don’t want to see him. I know that’s a horrible thing to say but I have already mourned and it’s done.”

In the 1990s, the Cristallo family had a snow gear business named Alpine Concepts.

As the company expanded, Carter — whose surname at the time was Cristallo — began racking up huge debts, including for fast cars, sources claim.

Close family friend John Minutolo said it ended in disaster.

“They bought fast cars and raced them at Calder Park, costing thousands of dollars to repair (and the costs for which were) coming out of the business,” he said.

“At this stage the Cristallos realised that their debts were more than their assets and with money borrowed mainly from friends and family they opted to go into a larger premises, leasing larger machinery, hiring more employees and buying more flashy cars. It soon became obvious that the business was failing badly.”

Creditors came knocking when the

business went into liquidatio­n. Ms Cristallo’s Greenvale home, which had been secretly listed as security, was sold out from beneath her.

It was enough to destroy her marriage to Carter’s late father, Giovanni Cristallo.

It was at this point he changed his name to Carter.

With a new name came a new life. The serial con artist moved to the eastern suburbs where he reinvented himself as a successful builder from a wealthy family. But years later he would again scam his family.

After spending time in the US, Carter returned to Melbourne and convinced his mother’s elderly partner to hand over the title to his Fawkner home.

This was around the time he was wooing Katherine De Bois (not her real surname) while married to his third wife living in the US.

The Fawkner property and land were valued at up to $600,000, the family says. They claim Carter promised to build three townhouses, including one for Jim, a hardworkin­g Italian immigrant.

Sarah Quattrocel­li said Carter preyed upon her trusting father-inlaw, who speaks limited English.

“My father-in-law expressed that he wanted to sell his property and downgrade,” she said.

“Paul offered to buy his home and land and build three units. One would be for Jim and it would be fully furnished with no steps … everything an old person wants.”

Ms Quattrocel­li alleged Carter used fake legal documents to deceive the elderly man.

The Sunday Herald Sun has been told once the title was signed over, Carter used it to borrow the maximum amount. This was possible after he bulldozed the home and laid down three concrete slabs.

Once the money cleared, Carter fled the country, it is alleged.

“He ensured everything was above board and got a solicitor to draw up the contracts,” Ms Quattrocel­li said.

“He put down the slabs to show the banks he had the intention to build, which he never did. Once the bank released the money for the build, he was gone.”

The Herald Sun yesterday revealed Victoria Police plans to arrest Carter at the airport over untested claims from Katherine that he raped her. Ms Cristallo said police had also told her Carter would be arrested at the airport, should he return, in relation to the Fawkner home con.

“You can change your name but you can’t change your fingerprin­ts,” she said.

Carter would not address his mother’s claims when questioned at his new home in Albany, New York, by the Sunday Herald Sun this week. “No, just don’t go there,” he said. Regarding the loss of his mother’s partner’s home, he said: “They went into a developmen­t and the estimator they used screwed up the whole cost plan, which then cost me money so I pulled out of it. It’s as simple as that.” @AneekaSimo­nis

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 ??  ?? Paul Carter and fiancee Kelly Sayers (right) in New York this week.
Paul Carter and fiancee Kelly Sayers (right) in New York this week.
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