This is an interview with Luigi DiRubba, of Cheshire, CT, a father who lost his six children to the RICO conspiracy practiced in Connecticut Family Court. Luigi, a chiropractor, gives an insight into how the game is played.
I loved his story of how his wife’s attorney, Marianne J. Charles of Charles & Boni-Vendola, LLC, demanded from poor old, inept Judge James Kenefick that her bill be paid by Luigi even though the case had concluded, the wife got the money, and the wife was responsible for paying her bills.
It does not always work that way in CT. Attorneys often tell judges how things will go, and the judges follow orders pretty well.
You can watch the video of the interview, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2km52lqthw&t=34s
I wrote and played the theme song, and over the music, I introduced the video:
Welcome to our series on Connecticut Family Court, where parents are separated from their children, where lawyers and therapists, guardians ad litem, and custody evaluators conspire to strip the assets of a family and, in so doing, separate, divide and conquer and destroy the lives of children and usually one or both of the parents.
I end the video with another voiceover: So many sad days and nights, children crying for their mother or their father, lonely, isolated, depressed. Mothers bereft of their children, fathers cast out, alone, in the darkness. This is CT family court.
Frank: You’ve been embroiled in a family court lawsuit for some time now.
Luigi: Close to seven years. It started Friday, February 5, 2016, when I was arrested on false charges. She claimed I physically abused her, emotional neglect. I abused the children. She made all these claims to the police department. They escorted me out of the house, and I had to go to court on Monday morning. I stayed at a hotel for three nights. On Monday morning, I had to present myself at Meriden Court.
Anna Maria DiRubba and their six children. Did Marianne Charles advise her to kick off the lawsuit with a false police complaint? Clients are often advised to do this. It starts things off on the right foot!
So a man in Connecticut can just be removed from his house by the simple allegation by the wife, and just like that, you’re thrown out of your own house. Is she the owner of the house?
No. We had both our names on the house.
Were you able to take a change of clothes, a toothbrush?
The police officer told me that I could take whatever I could carry as quickly as possible. I left with one duffel bag and a shirt and tie, and pants for court on Monday morning.
Were the kids there?
The kids were there. She wouldn’t allow me to say goodbye. She told the police officers, “I’m afraid for their lives.”
Were the kids afraid?
No. But there had been a lot of arguing for that whole year prior. Fast forward two months to late March, early April. One of our family friends came to my office and disclosed that my wife had had an affair that whole year prior. Then everything started to fall in place of why she was causing turmoil in the home.
Did you find out who she was having an affair with?
My attorney hired a private investigator to find out. His name is Matt Menchetti.
So did Mr. Menchetti continue his adulterous relationship with your wife?
For another eight months or nine months. She was just a cash cow to him. He bailed on her when he saw I wouldn’t go down without a fight.
He went to pinker pastures.
He left her and mooched along. Did your wife have money at the time this adulterous-led battle began?
No, but her attorney filed all these pendente-lite motions and froze all my assets and accounts. And Judge Kenefick forced me to pay her legal fees, my legal fees.
The case was supposed to be heard before Judge Karen Goodrow. Without explanation, the case was heard by Judge Kenefick, a fact that pleased Marianne Charles.
What was your net worth at the time?
I’d say at least 4 million.
What is your net worth now?
All I have is my practice. And my building. It’s about $700,000 gross, But one of the attorneys filed a claim against me and put a $250,000 lien on my building.
So you started with 4 million. And you’ve been reduced to $700,000. And there’s a $250,000 lien.
But I have no liquidity.
My math shows you’ve been decimated.
Yes. And then, at the same time, I was also left with close to $200,000 in debt. I’m paying all the debts off little by little, credit cards, IRS.
What do you do for a living?
I’m a chiropractor.
You’re a chiropractor, and you have a practice. And you started with 4 million, and you were dragged into CT Family Court because your wife was the plaintiff. Now you have a $700,000 property minus a $250,000 lien minus $200,000 in debt. My math shows me that all you have left is a quarter of a million dollars in net worth; you started with 4 million. How much have you spent on legal fees, and how much is your wife spent on legal out of your $4 million in assets?
She didn’t spend a dime. I was forced to pay her legal fees close to $400,000. I was forced to pay my legal fees, which were $325,000. I was forced to pay the GAL $125,000. I was forced to pay the psychological evaluation $10,000, all the therapists for the children – probably another $25 to $30,000. We had supervisors for supervised visits that cost me another 15 grand.
Attorney Anthony Solimine did not do well for Luigi but well for himself, and that’s what counts.
Attorney Thomas Esposito, ditto.
Attorney Mohan Sreenivasan and Attorney Randi Calabrese, ditto, ditto.
Well, actually, two attorneys for the wife, if you count the GAL Janis Laliberte, who made an easy $125,000 representing the children’s best interest.
So we have about a million there, don’t we?
Including the criminal attorneys. I spent close to probably 1.4 million.
For both you and your wife?
Let me just try to figure all of this out in short, straightforward language. One day, you were the king in your castle. And then, the next moment, you are escorted out of your house. Your assets were frozen. You had 4 million dollars. Your wife got the home. Your wife got the kids. You got the shaft. You were forced to spend $1.4 million. You still owe money, and you’re essentially living from one chiropractic adjustment to the next.
Paycheck to paycheck. I’m lucky. I have a place to live only because of my mom. She had to liquidate her retirement to help me get something to live in.
When was the last time you saw your children? Visited with them or had any kind of—
September 3rd, 2018.
Three and a half years, right?
That’s my three youngest ones. My three oldest ones I haven’t seen in five years.
You have six kids with the same woman?
How did things get so are hateful with a woman that the bore six of your children?
From what the psychologists have said, she’s got a borderline personality from what I can gather. She was diagnosed with a histrionic personality disorder. In 2014, she started hanging out with two women that were divorced. Personally, I didn’t care for them; they had foul mouths. I didn’t like them around my children. Slowly I think they made her, you know, they knew she did have a great life. I’m not going to say she was an evil woman, mother-wise. She lost two brothers as a child. She was the sole child of two parents devastated by what happened.
I think childhood trauma reenacted itself, and she never really had a childhood. So these women, I believe, gave her the wrong sense of what it’s like to be free. And slowly, it declined. I don’t know how she met this loser [she had an affair with]. He’s a loser because everyone knows him. He’s been in the newspaper, heavy gambler. He owes money to the state. He foreclosed on his golf course. You look him up. He’s pretty famous in Connecticut.
He’s known for a controversial and checkered life.
And to top it all off, I go to find out afterward, after during trial, that my attorney represented him in cases, and that’s why he didn’t want to bring him in to testify as a witness and put him on the stand. So I had to get a different attorney. It’s a very, very convoluted case.
He had a conflict because Mr. Menchetti was a former client of your attorney. How many attorneys did you wind up having?
How many judges?
Oh, God, Judge Kenefick, for the trial. It was supposed to be Judge Goodrow initially.
These are just rough numbers.
At least five.
And your wife had how many lawyers?
What court were you in?
New Haven first with Judge Kenefick. We had the trial. He came out with his final determination, and he buried me. So I appealed. I found an attorney to appeal. I tried to get going with the appeal, and my attorney, James Sexton, tried to appeal, and one day he was getting decimated by the opposing side because they were going to family court and getting all the stays removed. Judge Kenefick was ruling on them in the opposite side’s favor.
Kenefick took a dislike to you, didn’t he? Or did he just have a liking for the lawyer for your wife?
I think he liked the lawyer for the wife because his daughter is a GAL, and she’s good friends with my ex’s attorney.
So Kenefick’s daughters, a GAL?
Yes. In the same courthouse.
Does she ever appear in front of her daddy?
I don’t know. She wasn’t my GAL, but I’ve seen her, and she’s been in the courthouse all the time with cases.
I see. So Daddy and daughter work together in the operation. And the lawyer, what’s your wife’s lawyers name?
Attorney Marianne Charles: $400,000
Marianne Charles. Is she known to work with the daughter?
Yes, she’s had plenty of cases with her.
It’s like a family affair. And how about your lawyer? Did he work with the judge’s daughter? What’s the daughter’s name? Kenefick’s daughter?
You have to please forgive me? I don’t know.
All right. We’ll call her “the little one.” She works with Charles, but did she work with your lawyer?
I believe so. They all know each other. I know they go to a Christmas party together. Marianne Charles’s partner Corinne Boni-Vendola has a Christmas party every year. And they’re all at her house. The judge’s daughter, my attorney, my wife’s attorney Marianne Charles, and the GAL Janis Laliberte.
A dark-haired woman?
Heavyset, dark-haired. I couldn’t change her because she became court-ordered.
Attorney Janis Laliberte, GAL
She has quite a presence in the courtroom, doesn’t she? And she’s well known to Judge Kenefick? And Laliberte wanted your wife to have the children. Who paid Laliberte?
I had to.
Who determined the scope of her work?
Judge Kenefick did.
How come you don’t have supervised visits now?
I don’t know. Because all of the supervised visit reports are in my favor.
But Judge Kenefick doesn’t want you to have supervised visits.
When we presented the reports to him, he ignored them. I submitted them as evidence and had the supervisors on the witness stand. Pretty much, he gave me a parenting plan. We had a parenting plan, but my ex-wife was constantly obstructing it. I had one Father’s Day out of the two and a half years that the parenting plan was in effect. I had one Father’s Day and one holiday, every time, she would do something to obstruct it. I’d have my attorney try to try to do something. And we go into court. The hearing was in regards to the children’s issues. It would not even be brought up. I would get hammered with some other financial issue.
I walked out of the courtroom, Frank and I would look at my attorney, and he goes, “the guys always get the shaft,” and then little by little, I started realizing that, you know, they don’t give a shit. Everybody was getting paid. It didn’t matter who won or lost or fair trial. It was; they had the guy who was paying for everything. So it didn’t make a difference. So they dragged it out as much as they could. Our court trial was 14 days or something. And the questions that were brought up by the opposing side. Am I gay? I mean, literally to the point insulting, degrading.
Did your attorney object?
He tried, but Judge Kenefick pretty much let things; he fell asleep three times on the bench, by the way.
Well, why do you think he fell asleep? What was your testimony not scintillating enough?
No, he’s really old.
I see. He dozed off.
He dozed off three times. And we had to wake him up.
Oh, yeah. That’s a hardship on a judge to try to stay awake for these cases when they’re bleeding one of the parties. I don’t think it’s necessary for him to stay up for the whole case. I think it’s unfair to require the judge to stay awake for the whole trial when he already knows what his decision is going to be, don’t you?
Are you serious?
Can anything be serious about Connecticut Family Court other than the fact that they steal parents from their children? They destroy families for profit. That’s all that’s happened here is that you were robbed. You were used, bludgeoned and robbed and used as a victim. And now your money’s gone, and it’s kind of petered out. Your wife has custody. Who lives in the home that you were kicked out of?
She sold it, and she pocketed the money.
And you got nothing for that?
Nothing. Judge Kenefick didn’t give me anything.
The old man really didn’t like you, did he?
And then so we appealed. Sexton was getting hammered in family court because all the stays were being removed.
Was Sexton your appellate attorney?
Right. And then, by the time it was ready for an appeal to submit the brief, I didn’t have an appeal because all stays had been removed. So he walked away from my case. He says, “I can’t help you.” I got screwed there. I couldn’t find another appellate attorney to take on the case. So it got dismissed. Then I started representing myself pro se, filing motions because of, you know, neglect and also the children. My parenting plan wasn’t being abided by; she was obstructing, and we’d go into court.
Marianne Charles and her crew would literally go into chambers with Judge Kenefick, come out, my motion wouldn’t be heard. And I’d get hammered with some other financial order.
This was when you were pro-se?
And so the other attorney met privately with Judge Kenefick while you sat outside, and then they come out, and they would rule against you.
Right. And there was one instance that occurred where Marianne Charles went into chambers with Judge Kenefick and was cursing him out. Everybody could hear her. “I want my fucking bills paid,” literally. Okay, so he’s in chambers with her. Judge Tindall, in the other courtroom, walks into our courtroom and says to the marshal, “You better tell them to shut up, or I will go in there myself.”
And this happened twice.
“I want my fucking bills paid!” demanded Attorney Marianne Charles of Judge Kenefick.
Who did they want to have shut up? Tindall wanted who to shut up?
I see, so in other words, Marianne Charles was berating her stooge, Judge Kenefick, and Judge Tindall was annoyed because if Marianne Charles is going to berate Judge Kenefick, she should do it sotto voce and not yell and scream.
I mean, if you’re going to tell the judge what to do, I think it’s important that you do it with a soft voice in court because it might offend Judge Tindall and others, I get that.
I love your sarcasm. You must be a New Yorker.
Well, I do come from New York, but I’m glad I don’t appear in Connecticut because they have their own set of rules. So did the marshal go in and advise Judge Kenefick that he just better obey Attorney Charles and keep it down?
She kept it down, and then it happened again.
How soon after?
Within a matter of like five minutes, another marshal came in from Judge Tindall’s courtroom and he basically told the marshal to tell them to tone it down.
And did they then finally listen to Judge Tindall?
Yeah, they finally did. And they came out within a matter of minutes.
Did Judge Kenefict then obey what Attorney Charles insisted he do?
Yeah, what ended up happening is that I got hammered for some other financial issues, and my motion for my children never even got heard. And he ruled on it. And he dismissed it.
The poor old man, poor old Judge Kenefick. He couldn’t stand up to that lady. And so he hammered you. And out the door you went; your motion for seeing your children wasn’t heard. The Queen of the court…
Not just once, this happened four times.
But I’m fascinated with this screaming. So Charles was yelling at the judge, demanding you pay her bills. How much money were we talking about?
I don’t know what she was talking about. Because the trial had already concluded. And I wasn’t supposed to be responsible for anything post-judgment.
So who wound up paying this bill for Charles, you or your wife?
Me, but somehow it had to go through my wife for her to pay it because Judge Kenefick would turn around and hammer me for more money for her with these false claims that she would make, I didn’t pay this. I didn’t pay that when in reality, I had all the records, but he never even acknowledged them. She owed me close to $18,000, and I never got it. And I ended up having to pay her.
How much did Marianne Charles make in this case?
400 grand. And that’s not including what I don’t know.
What do you mean?
Well, post-judgment. Whatever’s happened since. After the appeal got dropped and dismissed, I filed for Judge Kenefick to be recused, and this was brought to Regional Court.
All right now, I just want to stay with the money for a minute because Marianne Charles got $400,000. In fact, at times, she had to resort to yelling at the judge to make sure he gave the orders that were in conformity with her demands. And you were sitting there pro-se like a lamb to be shorn, and he made sure that you paid everything. Did she come out with a smile after she left the court chambers after she had done her screaming?
She’d always smile. She was always; she knew no matter what I tried or did, she knew she had the upper hand. She would walk into court so confident that pretty much I already knew that something was occurring behind the scenes. I’ve been in front of Judge Kenefick. I’ve been in Judge O’Connor, I’ve been in front of Judge Goodrow. I have been in front of what’s his name, Judge, a male… Oh, God…
Well, they’re all the same, the names don’t matter. They’re all the same. Anyway, here’s what I think we should do. Luigi, I’ve got a little flavor. This is a good place to stop.