The alleged "billionaire" John Paterakis died in 2016, in Maryland, at the age of 87 from complications related to bone marrow disease. The man left assets to his children and his widow, but the estate is now embroiled in controversy.
Paterakis made his name and his fortune through the expansion of his father's tiny bakery into a massive business empire. He also transformed a piece of waterfront land in the luxurious Harbor East neighborhood.
Recently, a complaint was filed by Roula Paterakis, his widow, who married him a year before he died but had lived with him since 2001. The widow claimed that Paterakis' children concealed part of his estate. Roula says the estate is worth $1 billion, but the children hid much of these assets from her so that she could not receive her share.
The children have a different opinion on the matter, and they have accused Mr. Paterakis' widow of being an extravagant spender and bad gambler who is scheming to take control of the family business. They further accused her of pressuring their father to marry her because his life was coming to an end.
They say that the woman has a vicious temper and would scream at their father. They even claim that she once threw Versace crystal and china out of their home and into the driveway. They said that their sick father asked his nurses to call 911 after his wife became so enraged.
The attorney representing the widow is pushing back, saying the statements children's statements were a desecration because they depicted the man to be "a victim in his own marriage." The attorney further asked why the children did not attempt to intervene to stop the alleged mistreatment of their father before he died.
As this lawsuit continues to play out in court, some Newport Beach residents might see this case as an example of why it's so important to clearly solidify your estate plan and communicate your wishes with your family members and heirs. You may also want to make sure that everyone is in agreement with your decisions to prevent the risk of probate court involvement later on down the road.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Calling their father's second wife an extravagant 'material girl,' Paterakis children counter sue over his estate," Jean Marbella, Dec. 22, 2017