Wealthy businessman Ernesto Toscano was a former friend turned enemy of Victor Kiriakis. He had poisoned his wife, resulting in her death, because she had betrayed him. He kidnapped Bo Brady, hoping to destroy Victor Kiriakis, and tried to convince Bo Brady and Johnny Corelli to switch identities. Ernesto didn't realize that Bo and Johnny made other plans. Bo was released and sent to Salem to recover Loretta's diary, and Johnny escaped, following Bo to Salem.
By now Ernesto was really angry. He had no pawns, and no diary. He arranged the Cruise of Deception, during which he planned to recover the diary, and get revenge on all his enemies. He invited Roman Brady (John Black), Victor Kiriakis, Jack Deveraux, Jennifer Horton, Bo Brady, Hope Williams Brady, Julie Williams, and Isabella Toscano to come along. Once on board, he spoke with Isabella, who confessed to him that she had read the lost pages of the diary, knew she was Loretta's daughter, and admitted that it was she who had killed Marina, albeit in self-defense. Ernesto swore to Isabella that he still loved her, but in reality he hated her, both for killing Marina and for being a Kiriakis.
Ernesto had set a bomb to explode on board the cruise ship, but escaped via boat with Isabella before the bomb went off. He took her to a nearby island, where he slowly began poisoning her, trying to kill her the way that he had killed Loretta. Somehow all the passengers on the boat found their way to the island. Roman (John) managed to save Isabella, but in the meantime, Ernesto had captured Hope, whom Bo had demanded not follow him (she didn't listen). Ernesto lured them all to a cave, where he held Hope suspended over a vat of acid. Ernesto gave Bo a chance to plead for his wife's life, but he wasn't moved by what Bo had to say. Suddenly there was an explosion, and the cage was sent crashing down into the vat of acid.
Originally it was thought that Hope had died, but years later, it was learned that another young woman, Greta Von Amberg, took her place. Greta had ended up horribly scarred, and had been living in the bayou for years. Hope had ended up with Stefano, believing she was Gina, who just happened to be Greta's mother. Ernesto Toscano is presumed deceased.