El Paso

Richard Poe II fights back as defense questions his credibility as a businessman

Richard Poe II testifies in court

EL PASO, Texas - The son of a legendary El Paso car salesman again testified in court for more than six hours as he fights to regain control of his late father's three dealerships.

47-year-old Richard Poe II is fighting the legitimacy of a stock transaction his father, Dick Poe, made just 10 days before his death with the help of Dick Poe employees.

The transaction wrestled control of the dealerships away from Poe II.

Thursday, the defense attorney asked Poe II about his many businesses, including Worldcover and Dos Lunas Tequila. The defense claims Poe II lost more than $20 million dollars, possibly leading to his father's decision that he was unfit to run his dealerships.

Poe II disputes that figure, although the defense showed a 2006 financial statement in which Poe II valued Dos Lunas, which eventually went under, at $20 million.

Poe II countered by outlining his business successes, including a hotel in the french quarter in New Orleans called the Hotel Maison de Ville. After Poe II renovated the hotel, it won numerous awards, including being named one of the top 100 hotels in the world and top 10 in the United States.

"I've made a lot more more money than I've lost during my career," Poe II said.

The defense attorney representing the employees managing Dick Poe's estate, argued Dick Poe was not only concerned his son was doing drugs, but also worried about the so-called bad investments.

Arguments eventually returned to drugs and Poe II's dental problems, which the defense believes is proof of drug use, specifically meth.

The defense claims several of its witnesses will testify Dick Poe was concerned about his son's alleged drug use because Poe II allegedly had to have more than a dozen teeth replaced due to a condition called "meth mouth."

Poe II testified he has had his share of dental issues over the years, however, when asked under oath if he has ever used methamphetamine, he immediately replied, "No I have not!"

Poe II was then asked if he has a bad family history when it comes to dental hygiene. "Yes. I've had dental problems my whole life. My dad had false teeth by the age of 40. My grandfather died during dental surgery, from the anesthesia, I believe."

Testimony in the civil case continues Friday.


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