Fotis Dulos funded jet-set lifestyle with his girlfriend for years, lawyers claim at civil trial over $2.5million loan he ‘owes’ his missing ex-wife Jennifer’s family
Dulos, 51, is charged with evidence tampering in the disappearance of his ex-wife Jennifer
She vanished in May and her body has never been found
Separately, he is being sued by her family who say he owes them $2.5million
As part of that case, he arrived in court today to testify in a risky legal move
Anything he says on the stand can be used by prosecutors against him in the criminal case
They believe he ‘lay in wait’ for Jennifer at her home in Connecticut the day she disappeared
They were in the midst of a bitter divorce and custody battle at the time
He said that in the beginning, the money was intended as a loan but that as he progressed in business, Hilliard said he no longer had to pay him back.
Early on Tuesday morning, his attorney Norm Pattis told CBS This Morning: ‘These commercial transactions took place years ago.
‘We don’t think they shed any light whatsoever on the criminal allegations,’ he said.
Jennifer’s mother sued Fotis in January 2018, 18 months before she vanished, claiming he had reneged on business loans that their family gave him.
Dulos has dismissed these claims in interviews saying he does not owe the Farbers anything.
Fotis is being sued by his former mother-in-law, Gloria Farber, who says her late husband Hilliard seen in [photo, left] with her, gave him a $2.5million loan which he has never repaid
Jennifer’s friends have outwardly pointed the finger at Fotis and have asked him to reveal where her body is.
He has vehemently denied having anything to do with her disappearance and says the case has anguished him because it is keeping him from his five children.
His girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, is also expected to testify as part of the civil lawsuit.
Police say she turned on Dulos by admitting in an interview in August that she had lied when she said she was with him for the duration of the morning Jennifer vanished.
The judge issued a gag order preventing both sides from speaking about the criminal case, but Pattis has repeatedly flouted it.
The first witness called on Tuesday was retired attorney John Schmitt who was the executor of Jennifer’s late father, Hilliard’s, estate.
Next was an accountant who said in a 2016 tax return, Fotis noted in company documents a loan from Hilliard for $2million.
The next year, the accountant claims Fotis asked him to move it from accounts payable to equity. When he refused, Fotis, he alleged, had someone else do it.
Police claim to have surveillance camera footage of Dulos and a woman who looks like Troconis dumping trash bags at various locations on the night Jennifer vanished.
They said that when tested, some of those bags contained DNA evidence linked to Jennifer.
Police also interviewed an employee of Dulos’ who said that he took his car on the day his ex-wife vanished then switched out the backseats.
The man claimed he kept the backseats and, when tested, police said they found traces of Jennifer’s blood on them.
On Tuesday, Fotis was accompanied to court by his sister, Rena. She told a Fox reporter outside that it was ‘impossible’ he could have hurt her.
‘He is the nicest person I know. He is a very, very good person,’ she added.