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Entries in Guma Aguiar (6)

Friday
Nov302012

Missing Millionaire Could Be Hiding Out in Netherlands

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A number of unusual signs point to the possibility that missing millionaire Guma Aguiar could be hiding out in the Netherlands, according to his wife's attorney.

Aguiar, 35, was last seen on June 19 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.  Early the next morning, his 31-foot fishing boat, the T.T. Zion, washed up on a Fort Lauderdale beach with the engine running and lights on, but no sign of its Brazilian-born owner.

Since then, Aguiar's mother, Ellen Aguiar, and wife Jamie Aguiar have been embroiled in a nasty legal fight for control of his assets, valued at over $100 million.

Speculation that Guma could still be alive has surrounded this mysterious case ever since his disappearance.  The troubled millionaire had a history of legal problems and psychiatric issues.

Attorneys have been eager to interview Guma's associates, friends and family members.  Ellen has been deposed and maintains she does not know anything about her son's disappearance, according to attorney William Scherer, but an attempt to interview Guma's sister Angelika Aguiar Drew took a baffling turn.

In response to a subpoena to appear in court for a deposition, Guma's sister sent the court an affidavit from the Netherlands.

"She sent the Florida court an affidavit signed in the Netherlands that she intends to move her residence or has moved her residence to the Netherlands," Scherer, who represents Jamie, told ABC News.

Guma's sister is married to Corey Drew, whom Scherer calls "one of [Guma's] insiders all along."

"Angelika and Corey have indicated that they want to move or have moved to the Netherlands.  They're trying to avoid us, taking this deposition and being subject to Florida court," Scherer said.  "So she filed this affidavit and then we are wondering, 'What's the Netherlands?'"

After looking into the Netherlands, Scherer claims he discovered that another one of Guma's "very close business associates" has also relocated to the Netherlands.  Scherer declined to give the associate's name, but the information has left him baffled.

"Why are they all going to the Netherlands?  What's going on there?  We haven't been able to get them under oath to ask them," he said.  "This all may be a coincidence, but it may not be."

Police have investigated Guma's disappearance as a missing person case.  While some have suggested that the financially and mentally troubled millionaire may have committed suicide, no body has been found.  There have also not been any reported sightings of him.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul132012

Did Missing Florida Millionaire Guma Aguiar Jump to Another Boat?

Guma Aguiar and his wife Jamie. (ABC News)(NEW YORK) -- Deepening the mystery of missing Florida millionaire Guma Aguiar's disappearance, experts examining newly released GPS data from Aguiar's boat say it could suggest a scenario in which he jumped ship and boarded a waiting boat mid-sea.

"The pattern is very identifiable.  It just sort of fits as a scenario," boat expert Henry Pickersgill told ABC News.  "There appears to be a pattern in the vessel's track, speed, longitude and latitude to indicate that it may have stopped briefly for enough time for Mr. Aguiar to have transferred to another vessel."

Pickersgill is an independent marine surveyor based in Brooksville, Fla.  He has been in the boat and yacht industry for over 40 years.

Aguiar, 35, was last seen on June 19 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.  Early the next morning, his 31-foot fishing boat, the T.T. Zion, washed up on a Fort Lauderdale beach with the engine running and lights on, but with no sign of its Brazilian-born owner.

Since then, Aguiar's mother, Ellen, and wife, Jamie, have been embroiled in a nasty legal fight for control of his assets, valued at over $100 million.

Police are investigating his disappearance as a missing person case.  While some have suggested that the financially and mentally troubled millionaire may have committed suicide, no body has been found.  There have also not been any reported sightings of Aguiar.

The 37-page GPS analysis report was released by the U.S. Coast Guard on Thursday.  A series of maps show Aguiar's route from the night of his disappearance, including the speed at which he was traveling at all points.

[CLICK HERE FOR A MAP OF AGUIAR'S GPS ROUTE THE NIGHT HE DISAPPEARED]

The GPS data starts at 7:29 p.m., once Aguiar had already departed from the inlet near his home.  The data shows that the boat traveled northeast until it was about four miles from shore, made an unusual triangle and then drifted slowly back to shore.

"You can easily say he keeps working northeast towards whatever he's looking for, sees it at the top of the triangle, goes to it, steps off the boat quickly, doesn't even turn the engine off and lets it go," expert Nathan Spaulding told ABC News.  "It takes half a second to jump off another boat."

Spaulding is an associate of Pickersgill's.  Spaulding, who is based in Marathon, Fla., is also an independent marine surveyor with over 40 years of experience.  The two men looked at the Coast Guard analysis separately and then each spoke to ABC News separately.

"The top speed of the vessel was approximately 31 miles per hour at 7:35 P.M.," the Fort Lauderdale police wrote in a news release.  "At 7:56 P.M., the vessel's GPS data shows an abrupt decrease of speed, slowing down to approximately 0.6 miles per hour, as well as a drastic change in course to head westbound."

From there, the boast drifted southwest with speeds no greater than 3 miles per hour before it washed up on the beach and was eventually towed back to an inlet.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul062012

Missing Florida Millionaire's Wife Wanted Prenup Voided

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Less than two months before millionaire Guma Aguiar vanished, his wife filed a legal document asking a Florida court to overturn the couple's prenuptial agreement.

In the April filing, obtained by ABC News, she recounted the "living nightmare" that was her marriage while her husband suffered a six-month-long "manic episode."

Guma Aguiar, 35, was last seen on June 19 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.  Early the next morning, his 31-foot fishing boat washed up on a Fort Lauderdale beach with the engine running and lights on, but with no sign of its Brazilian-born owner.

Since then, Aguiar's mother, Ellen Aguiar, and wife, Jamie Aguiar, have been embroiled in a nasty legal fight for control of his assets, valued at over $100 million.

Aguiar's body has not been found and questions have arisen about whether he may, in fact, be alive.

In the prenup-related filing, Jamie Aguiar alleges that her husband misrepresented his worth in the prenup.  Her attorney, William Scherer, has said that the current prenup entitles Jamie Aguiar to only $500,000, despite her husband's fortune.

Jamie Aguiar claims that Guma Aguiar was negotiating his interest in Portland Energy Partners, L.P., while the prenup was being prepared.  Portland Energy owned nearly all of the equity in Leor Energy, a company run by Aguiar and his uncle Thomas Kaplan, which was eventually sold for $2.5 billion.

Aguiar and Kaplan had been in a nasty and costly legal battle over the division of the profits from the sale since 2009.

"The timing of these transactions is highly suspect," Scherer wrote in the wife's filing.

The filing claims there was "a conspiracy between Guma and members of his family and key advisors to keep this information from Jamie."

The prenup specified that Jamie Aguiar was not entitled to any future equity interest in Portland Energy or any related entity, according to the filing.

The document also details Jamie Aguiar's account of the couple's turbulent marriage because of Guma Aguiar's "severe bipolar disorder, psychosis, illicit and prescription drug abuse, and psychological problems" for which he was undergoing treatment.

"While Guma Aguiar's psychiatric hospitalization, treatment, and medication regimen have been largely effective in tempering his manner for the time being, Jamie has legitimate concerns that this period of calm before the storm may be short-lived if Guma chooses to discontinue his treatment and/or medication, as he has done several times in the past," Scherer wrote.

"With this uncertainty looming, it has become necessary for Jamie to make suitable arrangements for the physical safety and financial security of her four children, as well as her own person," the filing said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul042012

Missing Millionaire's Wife Wants to Sell Couple's Mansion and Yacht

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Missing millionaire Guma Aguiar's wife has filed a motion for permission to sell the couple's mansion and yacht, which are valued at $7.1 million.

Though his body has not been found and questions have arisen about whether Aguiar may, in fact, be alive, his wife's attorney wrote in the filing obtained by ABCNews.com that she "must face the possibility that she will never see Guma again."

Aguiar, 35, was last seen on June 19 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Early the next morning, his 31-foot fishing boat washed up on a Fort Lauderdale beach with the engine running and lights on, but with no sign of its Brazilian-born owner.

Aguiar's mother Ellen Aguiar and wife Jamie Aguiar are embroiled in a nasty legal fight for control of his assets, valued at over $100 million.

At a hearing on Tuesday, a Florida judge appointed Northern Trust, a wealth management company, with conservatorship over all of Aguiar's trust assets. Florida attorney Thomas Panza was appointed to manage all of Aguiar's non-trust assets and Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler was appointed conservator over all litigation.

"Jamie has concluded that she must face the possibility that she may never see Guma again and, accordingly, must be frugal to preserve the family fortune to the greatest extent possible," Jamie Aguiar's attorney William Scherer wrote in the motion.

The couple's Fort Lauderdale house is valued at $5 million and their 75-foot Lazzara boat "The Zion" is valued at $2.1 million, according to court documents.

Guma and Jamie Aguiar own the house and boat together, so the assets are not the property of the conservator, but Jamie Aguiar cannot sever her interest from the house or boat from Guma's interest without consent from the court and an order from the court granting her permission.

"Both the home and the boat are far too large and expensive for Jamie to maintain and keeping them would not be conducive to Jamie's goal for conserving funds," Scherer wrote. "Further, the recent media attention surrounding this case has attracted a number of strangers who are constantly near the home, creating a real fear for Jamie that she and her children are in danger. As such, she wants to sell the home and the boat in an attempt to obtain financial and emotional peace of mind."

Jamie Aguiar wants to move into a smaller home that is easier to manage financially, according to the filing. Her husband's potential share of any proceeds from a sale would be held in trust "pending his return" or "if he is deemed deceased, can then be released to Jamie."

"With Guma gone, Jamie must conserve what remains of the fortune they once had which has been virtually cut in half due to Guma's tumultuous litigation with his uncle and his exorbitant spending while he was ill," Scherer wrote.

Aguiar's disappearance has triggered a legal melodrama.

Jamie Aguiar and her mother-in-law Ellen Aguiar have insulted each other through their legal filings, calling each other liars and greedy and uncaring about the man who is missing.

Aguiar's uncle Thomas Kaplan, who was tangled up in law suits with the missing millionaire, has suggested that he is alive and has asked the court preserve any electronic data related to Aguiar's disappearance, including any communication between Guma and Ellen Aguiar.

Aguiar has said that he feared that his uncle was trying to kill him because of their business dispute. In a 2010 court document, Kaplan's legal team disputed those accusations.

"Aguiar's psychosis manifested itself in both grandiose and paranoid delusions," a court document from 2010 reads. "With respect to his paranoid delusions, Aguiar has stated on multiple occasions that Kaplan was trying to kill him. Aguiar believes that he has been poisoned, the he was shot in the back from a helicopter, that snipers have been following him and that the medical staff at an Israeli hospital were injecting him with poison in order to kill him."

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun292012

Rabbis Work Out Truce Between Missing Florida Millionaire's Mom, Wife

Missing Florida millionaire Guma Aguiar's mother Ellen Aguiar (L) and wife Jamie Aguiar (R). ABC News(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) -- Two rabbis helped facilitate a truce between missing millionaire Guma Aguiar's feuding mother and wife, who took their $100 million battle to a Florida courtroom on Thursday.

Aguiar, 35, vanished last Wednesday; his 31-foot fishing boat washed up on a Fort Lauderdale beach with the engine running and lights on, but with no sign of its Brazilian-born owner.

In the days following Aguiar's disappearance, his wife, Jamie, and mother, Ellen, filed five legal documents fighting for control of his assets, valued at over $100 million.  Aguiar has actively supported Jewish charitable organizations.

While Aguiar's wife wanted control, his mother was fighting for control to be handed over to a third party -- Northern Trust, a wealth management company selected by Aguiar to take care of his assets should anything ever happen to him.

A court hearing to appoint conservatorship was expected Thursday evening.  But earlier on Thursday, two rabbis and a congregant, who made up a committee formed by Aguiar as a group of advisors, kicked into place a legal mechanism that gave Northern Trust control of the assets.  The court agreed to it.

"Without putting out one shred of evidence, what my client wanted happened serendipitously," Ellen Aguiar's attorney, Richard Baron, told ABC News after the hearing.

A representative for Northern Trust could not accept control immediately, saying the company's lawyers had to approve the move first.  The parties will be back in court on Tuesday for Northern Trust's decision.

If Northern Trust accepts, it will have control of all of Aguiar's U.S. assets, valued at more than $50 million.  But control of his millions in Israeli assets is still up for grabs; the Florida court did not have control over international assets.

For now, both parties agreed to the truce.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun262012

Missing Florida Millionaire's Wife Asked for Divorce Before Disappearance

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Missing Florida millionaire Guma Aguiar's wife told him she wanted a divorce just hours before he vanished from his fishing boat, the lawyer for Aguiar's mother told ABC News on Monday.

It was the latest twist in a mystery that has sparked a vicious tug-of-war between his wife and mother over control of Aguiar's $100 million estate.

Aguiar's disappearance has triggered a barrage of rapid-fire legal filings by his mother and wife over the last few days, with the wife filing counter documents on Monday seeking control of her husband's estate.

It was the third legal filing since Aguiar, 35, vanished last Wednesday when his 31-foot fishing boat washed up on a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., beach with the engine running and lights on, but with no sign of its Brazilian-born owner.

The U.S. Coast Guard and multiple police agencies launched a search for Aguiar, but the Coast Guard suspended their search last Thursday night.

Documents filed last week by his mother to secure control of her son's assets suggest that Aguiar may be alive and in a "delusional state or be suffering from psychosis."

But on Monday, a lawyer for Aguiar's mother, Ellen Aguiar, suggested that the millionaire was in a despondent mood when he got onto his boat last week.

"An hour before he got on his boat, the wife told Guma she wanted a divorce," attorney Richard Baron told ABC News.  "I'm of the belief that that's what pushed him over the deep end.  He loved his wife.  He did not want a divorce."

Court records show that Guma Aguiar filed for divorce from Jamie Aguiar in July 2011, but the couple did not go through with the divorce.

Baron said that Ellen Aguiar spoke to her son an hour before he got on his fishing boat, the T.T. Zion, and sailed off.

"She thinks he went off the deep end and got on the boat depressed [and then] jumped, fell or is somewhere clinging to life," Baron said.  "A mother's optimism knows no bounds.  She's not thinking the worst."

Guma Aguiar's assets include $65 million in bank assets, $35 million in Israeli real estate, the $5 million Florida home he shares with his family, and seven cars and a yacht valued at over $3 million.

Court documents filed on Monday by attorneys for Ellen Aguiar and obtained by ABC News say that Guma Aguiar's property is in "imminent danger" of being "wasted, misappropriated, or lost" by his wife Jamie Aguiar unless immediate action is taken to preserve the status quo.

The document alleges that his wife Jamie Aguiar fired Aguiar & Associates' CFO "without any reason or justification whatsoever and without a majority vote for the remaining officers to do so."

It also claims that his wife contacted the chairman of the board of Hapoel Jerusalem, a basketball team owned by Guma Aguiar, and instructed him to take no further action with the team, including paying the salaries of employees.

"The Absentee's Wife has taken such actions without court order, without power of attorney, and without any other authority to do so," the document states.

Jamie Aguiar's agent Suzanne Faulkner has been acting on her behalf and executing these actions, according to the document.  Faulkner did not respond to request for comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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