Hartford, CT- While the criminal investigation regarding the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos earlier this year is still ongoing, the civil suit pertaining to the estates and exchange of money between the Jennifer Dulos’ mother and ex-husband.
While some folks plead the fifth while in criminal and civil cases, a judge said that the fifth doesn’t absolve them from every inquiry.
A judge has ordered Michelle Troconis to answer a limited number of questions during a deposition in the $2.5 million lawsuits filed against Fotis Dulos by the family of his missing estranged wife.
Hartford Superior Court Judge Cesar Noble is necessitating Troconis to answer questions related to her background, including where she was born and whether she has an Argentinian passport, and whether she saw her former boyfriend conducting business transactions in Florida and Colorado, according to an order issued Friday.
However, she will not be forced to answer much else that would dig into her relationship with Fotis Dulos, Jennifer’s ex-husband, or his finances. Gloria Farber’s lawsuit and the estate of her late husband Hilliard are slated to continue trial on December 3rd of this year.
Regarding the criminal investigation of Dulos’ May disappearance, Troconis and Fotis Dulos have each pleaded not guilty to two counts of tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution in connection with the case.
Troconis’ attorney, Andrew Bowman, has continually attempted to halt having his client involved with the lawsuits considering she might incriminate herself in the criminal proceedings.
Andrew Bowman wrote in court papers asking Judge Noble not to compel his client to answer any questions:
“In addition, law enforcement’s investigation concerning the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos has not concluded. It is a continuing investigation, which may or may not result in a homicide charge or in a conspiracy charge.”
Meanwhile, attorney Richard Weinstein who is representing Gloria Farber’s civil case, asked the judge to delineate which questions Troconis is required to answer after she invoked the Fifth Amendment to every question posed during a September deposition.
According to Noble’s order that was issued Friday, Troconis has to answer questions related to where she was born, where she holds citizenship, if she has an Argentinian passport and where she lived with her daughter before moving to Connecticut.
Furthermore, she must also provide information on the business endeavors of Fotis Dulos while he visited her in Florida and Colorado, and which business acquaintances he communicated with while in those states when she was present.
Farber’s attorney had asked Troconis a total of about 180 questions during the September deposition, where she only answered two of them. From there on out, she opted to plead the fifth, but now she is required to answer 16 questions, according to Noble’s order.
In turn, there are several types of questions she will not be forced to answer during the civil proceedings.
The inquiries essentially relate to Jennifer Dulos and the Farber family’s finances; the order indicates. Some of the omitted questions that will remain unanswered are whether she knew of who would inherit what in the event of Jennifer’s death, what amount of money was in the trust for Jennifer Dulos, or if Fotis Dulos ever asked her to have funds transferred over to her name.
Troconis will not have to answer any private questions regarding her relationship with Fotis Dulos, such as how long she lived in the Farmington home he once shared with Jennifer Dulos or whether he paid for Troconis to travel with him.
Gloria Farber is suing her son-in-law for $2.5 million in what she is citing as unpaid loans to him and his real estate business, Fore Group. Weinstein detailed in court documents filed Friday that Fotis Dulos failed to uphold a detached financial distinctiveness from his company, which is now permitting him to claim the money was a gift from the family and not a loan.
While it seems the civil proceedings won’t aid much regarding the criminal investigation about the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos, there’s still a lot of notoriety and unusual circumstances involving Troconis and her boyfriend Fotis amid the criminal case.
In October, an international intelligence agency joined fight to find truth behind Dulos disappearance. In cased you missed it, here are the details.
The estranged husband of missing Connecticut mom Jennifer Dulos has been arrested twice concerning her disappearance, but lawyers are still saying that because there’s no body – there’s no crime.
But now, an international intelligence agency is offering its services to the family to help find the truth about what happened to the missing mom.
Enter: Conflict International.
Jennifer Dulos is presumed dead. Her husband and his girlfriend have been implicated in attempting to destroy evidence – Dulos’s clothing with what appeared to be blood – and have even admitted to lying to investigators, but still there is no body.
And five children are caught in the middle, wondering what happened.
Stephen Komorek heads up the United States division of Conflict International. His team of private investigators wants to help the children of Jennifer Dulos find out what happened to their mom.
Komorek and members of the international private investigation firm met with senior officials within the NYPD during a recent S.P.I. dinner in Brooklyn.
During their time there, the law enforcement professionals talked about the Dulos story and how tragic it was for the family to not know what had really happened. The children have officially been placed into care with their maternal grandmother and are now safely living in Manhattan.
The details about the case troubled Komorek, prompting the agency to offer its services.
“So many of the cases we work across the country involve heartbreaking backstories,” Komorek said, “but when we heard that five children had no idea what happened to their mother… and that the father could somehow be involved… we just had to step forward and offer our expertise.”
Though investigators have searched far and wide across the state, they’ve still been unable to turn up the body of Jennifer Dulos.
Komorek says that the team at Conflict International has worked alongside law enforcement agencies across Connecticut before, and hoped they could offer assistance.
“We have a great relationship with LE agencies across the state,” Komorek said. “We’re hoping we could add to their team of experts by bringing in some of our investigators.”
Fotis Dulos, the prime suspect in the case, is working with his lawyer to seal the case files and bar police from speaking to the public regarding case updates.
Police say Dulos and his girlfriend have been lying to investigators for months. But in early September, after a one of Dulos’s employees told police that Dulos had used a vehicle registered to his employee on the morning Jennifer disappeared, police once again arrested Fotis Dulos in connection with her case.
The employee who informed police about the vehicle, Paul Gumienny, also reportedly told investigators that Dulos had been acting suspicious in the days following her disappearance, even going so far as to ask him to swap out the seats in the truck because he feared that police would find Jennifer’s hair inside.
Dozens of people at today’s walk are asking for #JusticeforJennifer
It’s Day 135 since Jennifer Dulos was last seen in #NewCanaan dropping her children off at school. Her husband, Fotis Dulos, & his GF at the time, Michelle Troconis, are charged in connection to Jennifer’s case pic.twitter.com/PS5FpLq1Z9
— Carolina Cruz (@CCruzNews) October 6, 2019
Authorities say that they had previously recovered surveillance video of a red 2001 Toyota Tacoma parked near the location that Jennifer’s car had been found. When Gumienny confirmed that Dulos had borrowed that exact truck, they knew they had their man.
They claim that Fotis Dulos drove Jennifer’s body “and a number of other items associated with the cleanup which occurred in the garage of the residence,” to Lapham Road and then switched vehicles.
They say that Dulos then used a third vehicle, a Ford Raptor pickup truck registered to his company, to dump bags of trash, “which appeared to be stained with a substance consistent with the appearance of blood,” documents said. When police later searched those trash bags, they found bloody clothing that Jennifer had been wearing on the day she disappeared, as well as cleaning items, such as sponges and towels.
Dulos has now been given an additional charge of tampering with or fabricating evidence.
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This is not the first time Dulos was arrested in connection with his wife’s disappearance. Fox reported that Dulos and his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, 44, were arrested in early June and pleaded not guilty to evidence-tampering and hindering prosecution.
They were both released on bail. In court this week, Fotis has asked that the judge dismiss all charges against him.
Since then, Troconis has reportedly told police in an interview that she had been untruthful about the case and that Fotis Dulos had had his truck washed because Jennifer’s body had been in there “at some point”.
— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) October 5, 2019
The application for the warrant noted that police believed the crime and cleanup occurred between 8:05 a.m. and 10:25 a.m. May 24, the day Jennifer vanished.
But despite a police statement that Dulos was “lying in wait” for his wife on the day they suspect she was killed, Dulos’s lawyer says the actual evidence for murder is slim.
“Where’s the murder charge?” Attorney Norm Pattis said after Dulos was taken into custody.
Pattis went on to say that the police immediately went after Fotis instead of trying to find Jennifer, a claim that’s ridiculous, considering the massive search efforts that went into finding the missing mom over that past three months. Not to mention, Pattis’s client was caught disposing of criminal evidence that directly tied him to her disappearance.
“We wish the state police spent more time looking for Jennifer and less trying to build a case against Fotis,” Pattis said. “We will plead not guilty to these charges next week in Norwalk.”
Pattis boasts a high-profile list of clients that he’s represented, including Alex Jones of InfoWars. And he’s apparently well-known for getting his clients off. Pattis claimed to be receiving emails chastising him for representing Fotis Dulos since he took the 51-year-old’s defense case.
“I am drawn to cases where the defendant was hated,” he said. “I was abandoned by my father when I was 8-years-old as a child. I am committed to my clients and I will not leave them alone. I will fight for them.”
The 50-year-old brunette was last seen driving a black Chevy Suburban on May 24. That’s when she dropped off her 8 and 13-year-old children at their private school in New Canaan. Since then police across the state have launched an all-out manhunt in an attempt to find out what truly happened to the suburban mom.
— Ashley Afonso (@AshleyAfonso) September 12, 2019
Investigators also said that Fotis and Jennifer had been going through a rough battle over child custody, as their relationship had fallen apart in every way but the legal sense.
Court documents show Dulos said she was “terrified for (her) family’s safety, especially since discovering the gun, since my husband has a history of controlling, volatile and delusional behavior.”
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On top of that, she had recently accused her husband of 13 years of threatening to kidnap their children and take them to Greece.
Fotis adamantly denied that claim and said he had turned in his handgun to the Farmington police. He said that his wife was the unfit parent.
Investigators are continuing to search for the missing mom’s body, but months after her disappearance, still no luck.
For more information about the United States division of Conflict International, visit their website here.
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