Posted on: October 28, 2021, 12:55h.
Last updated on: October 28, 2021, 12:55h.
The sons of the late Florida casino cruise founder Gus Boulis, who was murdered in a Mafia hit two decades ago, are engaged in a legal fight for their inheritance.
The Miami Herald reports that brothers Aristotle and Alexander Hren-Boulis are battling the man their father placed in control of their trust funds before his death, his cousin Spiro Naos.
In a civil lawsuit, the brothers accuse the trustee of pillaging hundreds of thousands of dollars from the trusts. They told the Herald they have been reluctant to seek criminal charges against Naos because they previously considered him to be a father figure.
SunCruz Cruises to Nowhere
Konstantinos “Gus” Boulis owned the SunCruz Casinos fleet of ships that offered “cruises to nowhere.” Before Florida had casino gaming, Boulis’s vessels transported gamblers three miles out into the Atlantic, where the state gambling ban was not legally binding.
The Greek immigrant arrived in America in the 1960s and got a job washing dishes in a sandwich outlet. By 25, he was a partner in the company. Moving to Florida, he started the successful Florida Subs restaurant chain before entering the gambling business.
Authorities were unhappy with Boulis’s cruises to nowhere. They eventually nailed him on a federal law that requires owners of such fleets to be American citizens. The obscure 1920 statute was designed to protect US shipping interests from foreign competition. While Boulis was granted US citizenship in 1997, he was found to have purchased most of the fleet prior to this.
In 2000, Boulis was forced to sell up. But unfortunately for him, the buyers were the notorious lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his associate Adam Kidan. Abramoff was later imprisoned on charges related to the SunCruz deal and the Indian lobbying scandal.
Abramoff was found have used a fake wire transfer to dupe lenders into believing he had made a $23 million down payment on SunCruz so he could obtain a $60 million loan.
Meanwhile, Kidan had hired Gambino mobster Anthony “Big Tony” Moscatiello as a food-and-beverage consultant for SunCruz. But when Boulis heard about the phony wire transfer he tried to scuttle the deal. Prosecutors later argued Moscatiello had him killed because he feared he would lose the lucrative contract.
Boulis was found shot dead in his car in Fort Lauderdale in February 2001. In 2005, Moscatiello and accomplices Anthony “Little Tony” Ferrari and James “Pudgy” Fiorillo were charged with his murder.
Boulis’s sons, who were 5 and 7 at the time, were cared for by Noulis after their father’s death. They now claim the trust they had in him made it easy for him to siphon away their money. They’re asking the courts for $1 million.
The Miami-Dade Circuit Court has ruled that Naos failed to perform his duties and committed breach of trust by withdrawing the money without the brothers’ consent. But the courts have not yet ruled how much Naos is liable for.
All parties are currently in mediation. If that fails, the case will go to trial.