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Paterakis widow wants stepchildren booted as estate representatives

Roula Paterakis, wife of the late bakery magnate and developer John Paterakis Sr., wants two of his children removed as personal representatives of his estate.

A petition filed Wednesday in Baltimore County Orphans’ Court alleges William J. Paterakis and Venice Paterakis Smith are incapable of performing their duties as representatives.

The petition accuses the pair, children from John Paterakis’ previous marriage, of mismanaging estate property and failure to perform material duties without reasonable excuse.

“We look forward to presenting the evidence to the court and to hear what the defendants themselves will have to say in those proceedings,” said Arnold Weiner, of Rifkin Weiner Livingston LLC in Baltimore, Roule Paterakis’ lawyer.

The petition claims the personal representatives of the estate “are in possession and control of millions of dollars in cash hoards.” The cash was removed from multiple safety deposit boxes and a safe in the elder Paterakis’ office, the petition states. The sons also are accused of taking and hiding their father’s “play money” from various bank accounts.

“The Decedent owned the cash hoards and the ‘play money’ accounts at the time of his death. William and Venice have nevertheless secreted, concealed and failed to account for the millions of dollars in the decedents cash hoards and ‘play money’ accounts,” according to the petition.

The representatives are also accused of withholding those funds from an inventory and a first administration account that eventually valued the estate at $155,354.87.

A call to Stephen A. Thomas, one of the attorneys representing the sons, seeking comment was not immediately returned.

The petition follows a complaint filed earlier this week in Baltimore City Circuit Court alleging that John Paterakis Sr.’s children and grandchildren conspired to deprive Roula “of her rightful share of John’s estate.”

John Paterakis Sr., who died in October 2016 at age 87, was an iconic Baltimore businessman and political force. His success with the family business, H&S Bakery Inc., eventually lead him to invest development projects such as Harbor East, which has helped transform the city’s waterfront and skyline.

But his involvement in city politics was not without controversy. In 2010, he pleaded guilty to violating state campaign finance law after paying in excess of state contribution limits for a poll for former Councilwoman Helen Holton in 2007.

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