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Canada Family of long-dead ‘King of Ontario Bootleggers’ fight for control of his lost fortune

06:51  09 august  2018
06:51  09 august  2018 Source:   thestar.com

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Family of long - dead ‘ King of Ontario Bootleggers ’ fight for control of his lost fortune By Peter EdwardsStaff ReporterWed., Aug. 8, 2018Mobster Rocco

“Most of his money was made through properties and stuff like that,” said Monterosso, a spokesperson for the group. Perri supplied booze to the Chicago mob of Al Capone, at the time earning himself the title “ King of Ontario Bootleggers ” in The Toronto Daily Star.

a vintage photo of a man wearing a suit and tie: A 1920s police mug shot of Hamilton-based mobster and bootlegger Rocco Perri. © Provided by Toronto Star Newspapers Limited A 1920s police mug shot of Hamilton-based mobster and bootlegger Rocco Perri.

Mobster Rocco Perri’s family in Hamilton and Australia say the federal government is withholding vital information that would connect them to what they call the bootlegger’s lost mega-fortune.

“It’s a legit estate,” said Andrew Monterosso, 53, who said he is Perri’s great-great nephew, in a telephone interview from his home in Canberra, Australia.

“It’s not criminal money.”

Perri and his estate have been a mystery since he vanished on April 23, 1944 while visiting a Hamilton relative in the city’s north end.

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^ " Family of long - dead ' King of Ontario Bootleggers ' fight for control of his lost fortune ". thestar.com. 8 August 2018. Further reading. " King of the Mob: Rocco Perri and the women who ran his rackets" by James Dubro and Robin Rowland (Toronto)-1987.

Perri complained of a headache that morning and went for a walk on Murray St, W., near James St. N.

He never returned.

Some say Perri, a former Toronto and Hamilton resident, was scooped up and murdered that day by underworld rivals — a popular joke in Hamilton was that his body would be found encased in concrete once the waters of the harbour cleared up.

Others — including Perri’s Hamilton and Australian relatives — say he quietly fled Canada and amassed a legal fortune in real estate in Mexico and the United States before dying of natural causes in 1953. Monterosso said Perri quietly lived his final days under the name of “Giuseppe Portolesi” in Massena, N.Y.

“Most of his money was made through properties and stuff like that,” said Monterosso, a spokesperson for the group.

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Monterosso and several Australian and Hamilton relatives have hired lawyers and written Ottawa in an attempt to collect what they say is their rightful inheritance.

The Perris of Hamilton and Australian say conversations have gone all the way up to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Office, before being bounced back to the Canada Revenue Agency.

“Please be assured that the time you have taken to write regarding the estate of Mr. Rocco Perri is appreciated and that your comments have been reviewed and given the appropriate consideration,” Jerevan Singh, Trudeau’s special assistant, wrote them on June 15, 2017. “Since this matter falls within the portfolio of the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, I have taken the liberty of forwarding a copy of your letter to her office. We are certain it will be given every consideration.”

That was after Lebouthillier’s office said that there are no records to hand over.

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1924 Police mugshot of Rocco Perri, bootlegger . Rocco Perri died in 1944 – or 1953 – or some other time, but he’s either dead or 130 years old. The former ‘ King of the Bootleggers ’ left a massive fortune , according to his family in Hamilton, Ontario and Australia. They say the federal government

Family of long - dead ‘ King of Ontario Bootleggers ’ fight for control of his lost fortune . Lost tax revenue pays for an already over-burdened health care system, infrastructure more than overdue for replacement or repair, the aircraft, vessels and equipment provided to Canadian troops, and much

Lebouthillier’s staff wrote a March 2017 reply to the Perri’s then lawyer Douglas Burns stating, “Senior officials of the CRA have carefully reviewed Mr Rocco Perri’s file. They assure me that the only records in existence for this file are those associated with the recent communications with you and your client. There are no other documents or records held by the CRA with respect to Mr. Rocco Perri.”

Monterosso said he’s convinced there are records, somewhere.

Monterosso acknowledges that things were complicated because there wasn’t a social insurance number or death certificate for Perri, who would be 130 if he were still alive.

The Hamilton and Australian branches of the Perri family say have been doing plenty of detective work of their own and say they have learned the post-tax Perri estate money was sent to the Italian government on November 27, 2008.

“We had an informant inside the CRA who told us all of this,” Monterosso said.

That final estate was eventually transferred to Italy because Perri was an Italian citizen, Monterosso said.

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Family of long - dead ‘ King of Ontario Bootleggers ’ fight for control of his lost fortune . Rocco Perri and his estate have been a mystery since he vanished on April 23, 1944 while visiting a Hamilton relative in the city’s north end.

The King of Bootleggers was even an alcohol abstainer! His practice soon largely involved defending bootleggers . Remus saw that Prohibition presented a golden opportunity to make an enormous fortune . For almost two years he appealed his conviction up to the Supreme Court but lost .

Monterosso said there’s now a split between the Italian wing of Perri’s family and the Canadian and Australian branches over how to divvy up what he calls Perri’s legitimate fortune.

Ottawa could help settle things by providing details surrounding the money transfer to Italy, he said.

The Hamilton and Australian branches of the Perri family get frustrated when asked why they should be entitled to criminal money.

Robin Parisotto, another member of the family’s Australian branch of the Perris, said Ottawa took a share of the estate in taxes before transferring the rest to Perri family members in Italy.

This could be proven with a federal document called a “clearance certificate,” which would show details of the money transfer from Canada, Parisotto said.

Parisotto wrote to the Star: “It must be stated that if the accrued estate had been deemed as being acquired via illicit means (proceedings of crime) then surely no taxes would have been due on the estate as indicated by release of a Clearance Certificate, the funds would have been quarantined/sequestered into General Revenue and no one would ever have known about this.”

Monterosso says he’s not impressed with Ottawa’s response and doesn’t plan to give up.

Rocco left behind a massive estate, even after Ottawa took out a chunk of taxes, Monterosso said.

“It’s phenomenal,” he said of the sum, declining to provide an exact figure.

Perri supplied booze to the Chicago mob of Al Capone, at the time earning himself the title “King of Ontario Bootleggers” in The Toronto Daily Star.

He boasted to the Daily Star that he ran his business with guile, not violence.

“My men do not carry guns,” he told reporter David B. Rogers in an exclusive interview published on Nov. 19, 1924. “If I find that they do, I get rid of them. It is not necessary. I provide them with high-powered cars. That is enough. If they cannot run away from the police it is their fault. But guns make trouble. My men do not use them.”

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