HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Day two of the civil trial against the estranged husband of missing New Canaan mother, Jennifer Dulos got heated at Hartford Superior Court. Jennifer Dulos’s mother is suing Fotis Dulos for millions she says he owes her.
Jennifer’s family’s lawyer got his chance to grill Fotis Dulos under oath. Dulos says he owes his mother-in-law nothing, and that they had an agreement in which his in-laws would continue to gift him tens-of-thousands of dollars each year.
Attorney Richard Weinstein coming out swinging against Fotis Dulos, ridiculing that assertion.
“You expect Gloria, the mother of Jennifer, to give you gifts of 14K even after Jennifer is missing and you’ve been accused of criminal misconduct in connection with her missing.”– Attorney Richard Weinstein
Fotis Dulos responding, “I don’t expect anything. I know what the agreement was.”
During a contentious day of cross-examination, Dulos and his missing wife’s mother battle it out over $2.5 million she says he owes her late husband’s estate.
The money, Fotis Dulos says, was a gift.
Weinstein wasting no time attempting to paint Dulos as a liar, bringing up testimony from his and Jennifer’s divorce.
Weinstein also pounded away at the picture of the ‘rosy’ relationship Dulos said he had with his now deceased father-in-law, Hilliard Farber, a relationship so close he testified that Hilliard forgave any and all debts. But, Weinstein pointed out, family ties were fraught.
Weinstein also going after ‘jet set’ travel by Fotis Dulos to Miami and Vale, Colorado funded, in part, by his home builder company, The Fore Group, and during which he was accompanied by his now ex-girlfriend Michelle Troconis.
The Farber estate trying to pierce the corporate veil as they attempt to collect any alleged outstanding debt.
Dulos maintains he used the travel to advance dealing with prospective investors.
Separate from this case, Dulos and Troconis face criminal charges of tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution in the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos.
When News 8 asked Dulos’s defense attorney, Norm Pattis, if Dulos’ credibility questioned during this civil case would spill over into the criminal case against his client, Pattis said it would not.
“There’s not a person alive who can get on the witness stand and not have their credibility attacked, that’s what happens!”– Norm Pattis, defense attorney to Fotis Dulos
Pattis says he believes the civil trial won’t damage his criminal case, but he couldn’t speak directly about it, because of a gag order issued by the judge in the case.
“I want to be careful not to violate the judges gag order because I will be challenging that on the 12th judge! I think that the state has attempted to drake this case in motive and animosity.”– Norm Pattis, defense attorney to Fotis Dulos
As Dulos walked out of court, the civil trial at rest, his attorney said the gag order is hurting their ability to defend him against the allegations made by the state, that Dulos hindered the investigation and tampered with evidence when he allegedly threw away those rags with Jennifer’s blood on them.
“We think we have the right and responsibility to respond in kind and by being prevented from doing so. It has cost us points in the court of public opinion, however as an officer of the court, I am responsible for obeying orders, even orders that I think are ill-conceived and blatantly unlawful.”– Norm Pattis, defense attorney to Fotis Dulos
After he testified Wednesday Dulos had a message for his estranged wife and her family.
“All I want to say is that I wish Jennifer and her family a happy holidays, and I just pray that they give my kids my love and my best wishes.”– Fotis Dulos
Jennifer Farber-Doulos has been missing since May, police say they found her blood on rags dumped by her estranged husband in a trashcan. But that is for the criminal trial still ahead.
Fotis Dulos has maintained his innocence in both cases throughout the entire proceedings.