Du Pont Relatives Doggedly Contest Will, Attack Bulgarian Beneficiary

Crime | December 10, 2011, Saturday // 13:11|  views

John du Pont (L) is pictured here with Bulgarian wrestler Valentin Jordanov Dimitrov. File photo

Relatives of the late eccentric millionaire murderer John du Pont have made it clear they will not give up their legal battle to challenge the validity of his last will, which bequeaths a whopping 80% of his estate to Bulgarian wrestler Valentin Jordanov.

Du Pont's relatives have appealed the dismissal of their challenge to the validity of his last will and testament to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, the Delaware Country Daily Times reported.

Du Pont's niece and nephew, Beverly A. du Pont Gauggel and William H. du Pont, asserted in a June petition that Bulgarian famous wrestler Valentin Jordanov Dimitrov, his wife, Zdravka Moneta Atanosova Dimitrov, and their relatives exerted "undue influence" over the late millionaire and coerced him into drafting a new will just months before his death in December 2010.

Du Pont was sentenced to 13 to 30 years in 1997 for the 1996 murder of Olympic gold medalist David Schultz after a jury found him to be "guilty but mentally ill."

Du Pont was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, a mental illness the petitioners believe he never recovered from while serving his sentence at Cresson State Prison near Altoona. John du Pont died Dec. 9, 2010, at the age of 72.

His will, drafted in September 2010, bequeaths 80% of the du Pont estate to the Bulgarian couple and their family members.

Christian Lassen, an attorney for the petitioners, said that while no formal accounting has yet been undertaken, the du Pont estate could be valued at between 0 million and 0 million.

Court of Common Pleas President Judge Joseph Cronin dismissed the challenge last month for lack of standing, finding that because the niece and nephew were not named in two successive wills going back to 2006, they would not be harmed if the September 2010 was deemed valid.

Even if those prior wills were invalidated, he added, their interest would be "too remote to confer upon them a substantial, immediate and direct interest" in the September 2010 will.

But a new challenge to the will from another of du Pont's nephews, Henri Verge du Pont, was also filed this week in the Delaware County Orphans Court.

That petition contains many of the same allegations as the June filing, including that his late uncle believed in the last few years of his life that he was alternately the Dalai Lama, Jesus Christ and a Russian czar.

Henri du Pont also makes new claims that many or all of the successive wills contain forgeries and should be deemed fraudulent as part of a scheme going back more than 10 years to block any challengers.

Henri du Pont also accuses John du Pont's attorney and a paralegal, Taras Wochok and Diane Hazen Brady, respectively, of colluding with Dimitrov and his relatives, and helping facilitate the allegedly onerous documents.

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Tags: John, du Pont, Bulgarian, wrestler, Valentin, Dimitrov


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