BALTIMORE, MD – The late John Paterakis was one of the richest Greek-Americans when he passed away in October 2016. The businessman and philanthropist was instrumental in the development of the Harbor East neighborhood of Baltimore. In November 2017, Roula Paterakis filed a lawsuit against her late husband’s children over the Paterakis estate which she estimated at $1 billion. At a hearing on June 27, Judge Colleen Cavanaugh of the Baltimore County Circuit Court “dismissed five of seven charges,” The Baltimore Sun reported, adding that the dismissed counts “included unjust enrichment and interference with inheritance.”
The widow alleged that Paterakis’ children, “took millions of dollars in ‘cash hoards’ that their father kept in safes and elsewhere, and transferred other sums into trusts, as a way of keeping it from her,” the Sun reported.
Attorney Jeffrey E. Nusinov, who represents two of the Paterakis children, William J. Paterakis and Venice “Vanessa” Smith, said “We are thrilled with the court’s thorough and well-reasoned decision,” the Sun reported, adding that “all the accusations of theft and fraud, which were brought in a failed attempt to pressure one of the most respected families in Baltimore, have been completely dismissed.
“With this distraction put to bed,” Nusinov told the Sun, “the Paterakis family will continue to honor John Paterakis’ true testamentary wishes and his legacy of supporting Baltimore.”
Roula Paterakis’ attorney, Arnold M. Weiner, made no comment about the next step for his client, but told the Sun, “We are disappointed by the ruling, and we are considering our options at this point.”
The judge did not dismiss two of the counts, defamation and invasion of privacy, the Sun reported, adding that “the widow has also petitioned Baltimore County Orphans’ Court seeking to remove William Paterakis and Vanessa Smith as the personal representatives of their father’s estate.”