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California man sued in Barrington body-swap murder
By Ted Cox | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 2/23/2010 12:01 AM

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The family of an Arlington Heights man killed in a full-fledged identity-theft plot two years ago is suing a friend and business associate of the murderer, accusing him of being in on the idea.

Ari Squire, 40, of Lake Barrington, killed 20-year-old Justin Newman two years ago, burned the body beyond recognition in his own garage and attempted to flee under Newman's identity. Authorities say Squire wanted it to look as if he was the dead man so he could collect on his life insurance policy.

Squire committed suicide by shooting himself just over a week later when police attempted to question him at a Missouri motel where he was registered under Newman's name.

According to the federal civil suit, filed today in U.S. District Court, Squire had run the idea by a friend and business associate, Joseph Vacarro of Santa Barbara, Calif., and told another associate he was planning to forward money to Vacarro for his own use later on.

The suit states Squire had a $5 million life-insurance policy, with Vacarro and Squire's wife, Denise, as primary beneficiaries, and that Vacarro had been the best man at their wedding. Only months before the murder, according to the suit, Squire had pleaded guilty to Medicare fraud in a scheme involving Vacarro's Genesispsych firm in Lincolnwood and been sentenced to six months of home confinement and ordered to pay $63,000 in restitution.

The suit was filed by Newman's mother, Donna FioRito of Round Lake, and brother, Frank Testa III of Chicago, and accuses Vacarro of being involved in his wrongful death, as he "conspired with Ari Squire and his wife Denise Squire to fake Mr. Squire's death for financial gain and that Mr. Newman was murdered in furtherance of this conspiracy." They previously filed a similar suit against Denise Squire in Cook County Circuit Court in 2008.

Fidelity Investments Life Insurance filed suit against Vacarro, Denise Squire and Shana Majmudar, Ari Squire's sister, last May insisting it did not have to pay the claim. Denise Squire filed a breach-of-contract countersuit in October.

The new suit against Vacarro seeks $5 million in compensatory damages in addition to punitive damages.

Vacarro could not be reached for comment.