Published December 27, 2012
The wife of a Florida millionaire who vanished six months ago says she is stuck in financial limbo as police try to figure out if she is a widow or an abandoned wife.
Guma Aguiar, a 35-year-old Brazilian-born oil and gas magnate, was last seen June 19 driving his motorboat through Port Everglades. Since he disappeared, Aguiar’s wife, siblings, mother and an uncle have all been fighting over his $100 million fortune, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
With no body turning up, it could take five years for Aguiar to be declared legally dead. In the meantime, Jamie Aguiar, who reportedly had threatened to divorce her husband and had tried to challenge their prenuptial agreement, may be forced to continue fighting his legal battles without him, the paper reported.
“It's a very difficult time,” Jamie Aguiar, 33, of Rio Vista Isles, Fla., told the Sentinel. “I try and count our blessings every single day and try and think of what I'm grateful for.”
Aguiar is raising the couple’s daughter and three sons, who range in age from 15 months to seven years old. The couple's $5 million dollar mansion, 75-foot yacht and the motorboat that washed ashore unoccupied are all up for sale. Legal bills in the extended family free-for-all are approaching $1 million per month, sources told the Sentinel.
The couple, who met in high school, had a tumultuous marriage. Guma Aguiar had made millions in Texas, working with his uncle in the oil and gas business, then embarking on a variety of other investment ventures. But he had also spent time in a mental hospital. He sued his wife for divorce, but later withdrew the petition, according to the Sentinel.
Lawyers for Jamie Aguiar have indicated in court filings they suspect the missing man is alive and living in the Netherlands. They believe Aguiar may have faked his death to avoid losing his $100 million fortune, after his wife threatened to divorce him.
Guma Aguiar was a born-again Christian who later converted with his wife to Judaism. The two had a tempestuous marriage and last April, Jamie Aguiar sought a judge's opinion on whether their prenuptial agreement was fraudulent. Aguiar vanished two months later.
His powerboat was seen drifting near a Fort Lauderdale beach just after midnight, its navigation lights still on, according to the Miami New Times. On board, police found a white iPhone and a wallet on the center console, and flip-flops and a black T-shirt lying on the deck. The boat’s GPS system showed it had traveled rapidly two miles northeast from the couple’s house, turned around and then drifted slowly back to shore.
Aguiar’s wedding ring was found in the house.