HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — The estranged husband of missing mother Jennifer Farber Dulos says he does not owe her family millions of dollars.
The Farber family is suing Fotis Dulos for unpaid loans that he claimed were gifts.
On Tuesday, he took the stand, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
Speaking firmly in his Greek-accented English, Fotis Dulos insisted his relationship with his missing wife’s father was respectful and even loving before Hilliard Farber’s death in 2017.
“It was not a loan,” he said. “Mr. Farber is the father of Jennifer Dulos, my wife. He and I had a very, very good relationship. He was like a second father to me.”
Farber had lent Fotis Dulos millions to fund “Fore Group,” his luxury homebuilding business. Fotis Dulos said he signed a few promissory notes but then Farber made a generous offer at the hospital as Jennifer delivered her fifth child.
“He expressed his pleasure of how Fore Group was performing, expressed his support and said to me that in the future any of these advances are not going to be considered loans. ‘I don’t want any interest,'” Fotis Dulos said, recounting the alleged conversation.
Farber’s estate is controlled by his wife, Gloria. Her lawyers said Dulos is trying to duck responsibility for approximately $2 million.
“Gloria Farber was paying for Fotis Dulos to live in that palatial house with his girlfriend and he seemed to have the same lifestyle that he had with travel, entertainment, etc., but quote ‘couldn’t afford the mortgage payments,'” Farber’s attorney, Richard Weinstein, said earlier this year.
Gloria Farber is caring for the five Dulos children.
Prosecutors have said they believe Fotis Dulos is responsible for a violent attack on Jennifer Dulos in the garage of her New Canaan home. She disappeared on May 24 after dropping her children off at school.
Six months have passed and her body has not been found, and Fotis Dulos has not been charged directly in her disappearance. He and his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, were arrested on evidence tampering and hindering the prosecution charges in the case. Both pleaded not guilty.
Fotis Dulos’ criminal defense attorney, Norm Pattis, is attending the trial to make sure his client doesn’t say anything incriminating, Aiello reported.
“Obviously, this case has taken on a life of its own and is cloaked in the state’s suspicions and Jennifer having vanished, but if you look at this as a straight up commercial transaction, I think it’s a wash,” Pattis said.
Aiello asked Fotis Dulos as he left court how he thought things went, and he responded, “We’ll talk when it’s over.” He is expected back on the stand on Wednesday.
Anyone with information about Jennifer Dulos’ disappearance can submit tips by clicking here or contacting FindJenniferDulos@newcanaanct.gov or (203) 594-3544.