Gangland heiress forced out of $1m home
THE widow and daughter of slain drug lord Carl Williams will be forced from their Melbourne home, with the property to be seized and sold by the Australian Taxation Office to settle a longstanding family debt.
Roberta Williams learned on Wednesday that she had failed in her appeal to stop the ATO selling the Essendon house - worth more than $1 million - left to her daughter Dhakota by Carl's father, George Williams.
George, who died in 2016, had struck a settlement deal with the ATO to mortgage his house, but died with $740,000 still owing.
In March, the Supreme Court of Victoria determined Roberta had no claim to the house and made orders for it to be sold to cover George's liabilities.
But in appealing, Roberta argued a deal had been made by Carl with Victoria Police - a part of which was to wipe George's tax debt - for information about a series of gangland murders.
Carl was bashed to death inside Barwon Prison in 2010 before he could testify in court and Victoria Police cancelled its offer.
The ATO argued that it had no involvement in Carl's deal with Victoria Police.
In dismissing the matter, Justice Joanne Cameron said: "The appeal has no merit, was bound to fail, and ought to be dismissed in its entirety."
Pro bono barrister John Selimi advised Justice Cameron no ruling for Roberta to pay costs could be made, as she was bankrupt.
Two years before Dhakota was born, Carl was shot in the stomach by Jason Moran, who he later killed on his 29th birthday.
On that day, he stumbled to his parents' house on Primrose St in the northwestern Melbourne suburb of Essendon.
The house has been shot up and firebombed, and is now under order by the ATO to be sold off and the proceeds used to pay off the late George Williams' debt.
The Williams' current money troubles are in stark contrast to the thousands of dollars Carl lavished on them when he was alive.
On her christening, Dhakota wore a $4000 dress for the big day and her mum, Roberta Williams, was decked out in a dress worth almost twice as much.
Released from prison on bail just a few days earlier, Carl put on a big party at Melbourne's Crown Casino where family and friends celebrated after the church ceremony.
Australia's hottest pop star at the time, Vanessa Amorosi, performed at the party and guests feasted on a lavish buffet and bottomless drinks.
"You were really living it up," host Liam Bartett said.
"Well you can look at it both ways, Liam. She was my baby," Roberta replied.
"Was that all drug money?" asked Bartett.
"Of course, I'd be lying if I said no."
The event proved to be a profitable one too.
"[Dhakota] received a lot of money as gifts for her baptism, a real lot of money," Roberta said. "More than … $70,000."
For her part Dhakota said she has tried not to discuss her dad's criminal past.
"I'm happy with who my family are," she says.
"I'm not saying it's good. None of it's good. But it just makes me different. It makes me who I am."
Carl Williams ordered the gangland murders of three men before being jailed for 35 years and targeted in a bloody execution.
He was a violent man who once shot at his own wife while she was pregnant with Dhakota.
"Yeah, he did, but … I don't think he was aiming to kill me," Robert told 60 Minutes.
"I think he was trying to scare me."