The 18-year battle over Tom Carvel’s estate is as bitter as his franchise’s soft-serve and ice-cream cakes are sweet, with his niece Pamela—the only surviving family heir—now pushing authorities to investigate claims Carvel was murdered by insiders bent on staking claim to a $67 million fortune. Portfolio traces a story featuring safe-cracking, shredded records, and a potentially forged death certificate.
Carvel named seven executors to his estate, hoping they would serve to balance each other while distributing millions to charities in towns that gobbled up his cones. Instead, a protracted legal battle has drained $28 million from the Carvel coffers. “I have nothing left now,” Pamela Carvel says of her decision to request an autopsy. “So what do I have to lose?”