Dispute continues over estate of Rome...

Dispute continues over estate of Romeoville strip club owner (PART 1 OF 2)

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Since: May 11


#1 Apr 22, 2013
Dispute continues over estate of Romeoville strip club owner
April 20, 2013|By Steve Schmadeke, Chicago Tribune reporter

Romeoville's strip club may be gone, torn down to make way for redevelopment along the town's main artery, but a peculiar legal battle continues over the lucrative inheritance left by the club's founder.

The long-running dispute includes allegations of cocaine use, financial mismanagement and the theft of $1 million cash from a home safe.

Wally "Crazy" Vinckus, a larger-than-life character who owned at least five Harley-Davidson motorcycles, was the longtime owner of the Crazy Rock gentlemen's club in Romeoville. He died in 2008 at age 62, leaving behind an estate valued at up to $9 million.

Disputes quickly arose between his sister Rosalie Conzachi and his daughters Tammy Vinckus, 44, who was appointed executor of the estate, and Gidgett Callaghan, 42.

The home, with its "Vinckus Estates" sign and hot tub off the living room, has been a Romeoville landmark along Illinois Highway 53 for years. Less known is the four-acre Romeoville park Wally Vinckus created for his wife, Beverly, on 135th Street and filled with clusters of white columns, more than 100 total, reminiscent of those that once decorated his strip club.

Family members and their attorneys either didn't return calls or declined to speak at length about the inheritance case, but details of the dispute are laid out in five years of court records. An appeals court ruling last month moved the case closer to resolution.

While Beverly was alive, Wally Vinckus asked Callaghan and her husband to quit their jobs to take care of their dying mother and help with the family business, promising them half of his estate if they did, Callaghan said in court papers. But Callaghan became estranged from her father after he moved his mistress into the sprawling family home shortly after his wife's 1996 death. After the falling out, her father cut Callaghan out of his will.

The entire estate instead went to Tammy Vinckus, except for half the income from All World Storage, another profitable Wally Vinckus business, which was to go to Conzachi, according to the will.

Soon after Wally Vinckus died, Conzachi began sparring in court with Tammy Vinckus over whether she was turning over half the profits. Callaghan filed her own lawsuit, asking that her father's oral contract to give her half the inheritance be upheld.

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