FORMER Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale came to the attention of detectives after dining at a Gold Coast restaurant with a Melbourne man linked to notorious underworld figure Tony Mokbel.

The Courier-Mail can reveal that on October 18 last year Pisasale dined at the Cucina Vivo Italian restaurant at the Star Gold Coast Casino and met a group of men including Melbourne loan shark Tom Karas who was once accused in court of laundering money.
 

Sam Di Carlo
Sam Di Carlo

Also present was Brisbane barrister Sam Di Carlo and Chris Pinzone, the Melbourne-based director of property developer CJP Queensland, who met with Pisasale the day before the former mayor was stopped with 500 $100 notes at Melbourne Airport on May 13. Karas is a friend of Pinzone.

CJP Queensland is behind the multimillion-dollar development project in Ipswich's Yamanto to build a service station, restaurant, fast-food outlets and a childcare centre.

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