FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The last time anyone saw wealthy Fort Lauderdale businessman Guma Aguiar was on surveillance video in June of 2012, he was walking through his backyard, then getting onto a boat and sailing off—never to be seen again.
Just days after Aguiar’s disappearance, the family feud over control of his reported $100 million fortune began.
The latest chapter is playing out in court.
His wife Jamie Aguiar, they have four children together, claims eight properties in Israel, worth about $12 million, belong to the estate. The properties are in the names of Aguiar’s mom Ellen and two sisters.
“Were you the owner of those two properties?” Ellen Aguiar was asked while on the witness stand. “Yes, I am the owner,” she said.
Attorneys for Jamie and the estate argue that ownership is in name only. The attorneys for Aguiar’s mom disagree.
“I think that in light of how much money Jamie Aguiar has already received,” said Ellen Aguiar’s attorney Richard Berman, “that it’s sort of odd that gifts to his family members titled in their names, registered in their names in Israel, would be the subject of any litigation.”
Jamie Aguiar’s attorney Al Frevora quickly responded, “That’s not what this case is about. This case is about whether or not properties were bought by Guma and whether they were intended to be held by his family members who he presumed he could trust, for his benefit.”
Ellen said her wealthy son was very generous—giving her property, expensive jewelry, a pricey car lease, cash and a credit card with unlimited spending.
“Can you tell us how much you spent on the credit card?” she was asked on the stand. “I believe it was about $80 thousand a year,” she said.
This case won’t be over any time soon. Testimony continues until Thursday, then the court will take a break and return in mid-June.