The family of a high-ranking gangster who barely survived the Colombo civil war in the 1990s is being torn apart by a bitter legal battle over his late son’s estate.
While former acting boss Joel "Joe Waverly" Cacace is away serving 20 years for murder conspiracy, his ex-wife and granddaughter are facing off in Suffolk County Surrogate’s Court amid allegations that a will signed by his son, Joel "JoJo" Cacace Jr., is a fake.
The suspicious document surfaced after JoJo died of a heart attack on Jan. 1, 2015, at age 44. The will names his mother, Vita Rose Cacace, as the executor, but JoJo’s name is misspelled in four places and the date it was signed is crossed out and changed to a date before his death.
It also contains a puzzling provision that if Dina Marie Cacace, the dead man’s 19-year-old daughter and sole beneficiary, contests the will, she gets nothing.
Dina Marie’s mother, Laura Meyer, who never married JoJo, has filed an explosive affidavit with Surrogate’s Court, alleging the will is a “fabrication,” and that her daughter was evicted from her father’s Long Island home by Cacace family members who have allegedly harassed the teen.
She also alleges that her daughter’s lawyer may have been in cahoots with the other side.
Colombo consigliere Joel Cacace seen in a photo admitted to evidence during a trial at Brooklyn Federal Court, Brooklyn NY, April 18, 2012.
“I get nothing out of this, this is about doing what is both ethically and morally correct,” Meyer told the Daily News.
“For me, this fight is (JoJo’s) fight and all about allowing him to be able to rest in peace.”
Cacace Jr.’s estate includes three homes, three boats, a snowmobile, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, bank accounts and a valuable comic book collection, according to Meyer’s affidavit.
Vita Rose is in full control of her son’s estate until Dina Marie turns 31. Neither she, nor her lawyer, returned calls.
But Vita Rose’s daughter Susan Giambertone said the family is heartbroken over the dispute.
Cacace Sr. is due to be released from prison in 2020.
“This situation has become like a ‘Jersey Shore’ freaking episode to the point of disgust,” Giambertone said, referring to the raucous reality TV show.
“We love Dina Marie. We want her to be part of our family. My niece is being brainwashed,” she added.
Meyer took her allegations to the Suffolk County district attorney’s office. But a spokesman said that after reviewing her complaint, it was determined the matter was civil, and not criminal, in nature.
Cacace Sr. is due to be released from prison in 2020. He was wounded in 1992 during the Colombo civil war in which he was aligned with boss Carmine "The Snake" Perscio’s faction.
Cacace’s late son was not a Colombo gangster, although he served time for working a no-show union job.