Fotis Dulos, the ex-husband of missing Connecticut mother Jennifer, testified on Wednesday that he believes he is still entitled to money from her family despite the fact he is charged in her disappearance.
Dulos took the stand for a second day on Wednesday as part of a civil dispute with Jennifer’s mother, Gloria Farber.
She is suing him for $2.5million which she claims he owes her in unpaid loans from her late husband, Fotis’ former father-in-law, Hilliard.
Hilliard gave Dulos the loan when he and Jennifer were still married to advance his property construction business.
He had been loaning him money since 2004, the lawsuit claims, which Dulos would use to buy properties to flip. Their proposed deal was that once Dulos had re-sold the properties for a profit, he paid off the loan.
Despite having an affair and Jennifer filing for divorce in 2017, plus the fact that he has been charged with tampering with evidence in her disappearance, Dulos said he still thinks he should be entitled to money from his ex’s family.
‘That was the agreement,’ he said during cross-examination on Wednesday, claiming he had an ‘agreement’ with Hilliard that he would receive money every year.
Fotis Dulos arrives at Connecticut Superior Court on Wednesday for a second day of testimony, lugging a huge bag over one shoulder
Fotis is being sued by his former mother-in-law, Gloria Farber, who says her late husband Hilliard (pictured together) gave him a $2.5million loan which he has never repaid
The lawsuit was filed in February 2018, more than a year before Jennifer disappeared.
After testifying on Tuesday that his late former father-in-law Hilliard told him he never had to repay the money, Dulos’ lawyer made a bold claim outside court.
‘The amount of money that flowed both ways, it’s going to make it almost impossible to say who owes what to whom and if you did the math there, it appears that the Farber estate owes Mr. Dulos money but that’s not a claim we’re prepared to press.
‘I think that the state has attempted to drape this case in motive and animosity.
‘It strikes me that the animosity goes the other way around,’ Norm Pattis said.
Dulos arriving in court on Wednesday. He maintains that he neither had anything to do with his ex-wife’s disappearance, or that he owes her family money
All smiles: Fotis Dulos leaves Hartford Superior court after spending the day on the witness stand on Tuesday
In a risky and unorthodox move on Tuesday, Fotis decided to take the stand in that case, despite exposing himself to questions about Jennifer, their marriage and their life which could later be used against him in the criminal trial.
A forensic accountant also told the court he had been paying for flights for him, Troconis, and Troconis’ son to exotic locations since 2015 – two years before Jennifer filed for divorce.
He and Troconis had been having an affair but he resolved to save his marriage after Jennifer found out.
She then later filed for divorce.
Fotis’ girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, (pictured in October) is also expected to testify at the civil trial. She too has been charged with evidence tampering. Police say she has admitted making up an alibi for Dulos on the day Jennifer disappeared
According to The New York Post, Dulos was surprised when the flights were brought up in court on Tuesday.
His criminal attorney, Norm Pattis, who was there to watch the proceedings, put his head in his hands, the newspaper reported.
Fotis himself took the stand.
He was at first questioned about his business and his relationship with his late father-in-law, Hilliard, who he said was ‘like a second father to him’.
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.
While it was not about Jennifer’s disappearance, anything he says about their marriage could be used as part of the criminal case.
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.
He has dismissed their claims in interviews saying he does not owe them anything.
Dulos on the stand on Tuesday testifying about his business dealings and the money he says was a gift from Jennifer’s family
Since her disappearance, the family has issued multiple statements to express their pain and asking for information which could lead to solving the mystery of what happened to her.
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.
Dulos carried a large weekend bag over one shoulder as he arrived for the civil trial
Dulos’ attorney Norm Pattis gave an interview on Tuesday morning saying it was a ‘horrible situation’ which added pressure to the criminal case
Dulos’ attorneys have accused the police of unethical leaks and say it is unorthodox for them to level so much against him without charging him.
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.