The estate of millionaire hedge fund manager Seth Tobias, who was found dead in his swimming pool under mysterious circumstances, is now the focus of a battle by competing heirs amid allegations of drug abuse, gay sex and murder.
Tobias' wife, Filomena, found her husband floating facedown in the swimming pool of the couple's mansion just after midnight Sept. 4, according to police in their hometown of Jupiter, Fla.
"Please send somebody, please!" Filomena said in a frantic call to 911. "He's not breathing!"
Police at the time didn't consider the death suspicious, but have yet to make a final determination pending a medical examiner's report. One of Tobias' four brothers reportedly said at the time he believed the 44-year-old money manager to such luminaries as real estate mogul Samuel Zell had suffered a heart attack.
Tobias was founder of the $300 million hedge fund Circle T and made a name for himself through appearances on the CNBC financial programs "Squawk Box" and "Kudlow & Company."
Soon after Tobias' death, and just as his will went into probate, his four brothers accused Filomena of murder by drugging her husband and luring him into the pool.
Tobias' brothers are named in his will as the beneficiaries of his $25 million estate. The will was written before he and Filomena were married and his wife has contested it in court.
In a civil suit against Filomena, the brothers claim she "intentionally killed" Tobias "by asphyxiation and drowning."
The brothers claim Filomena caused Tobias "to ingest one or more controlled substances that induced loss of consciousness and capacity to breathe … [and caused him] to enter the swimming pool at their residence after his ingestion of controlled substances and in his stuporous and helpless condition he was asphyxiated and died."
Several weeks after Tobias was found dead, William Ash, a convicted felon and former assistant to Tobias, who police said has worked as a gay prostitute, told authorities he had a recording of Filomena confessing to murdering her husband.
He alleges that Filomena lured Tobias into the pool while high on cocaine with promises of sex with a gay prostitute named in court documents only as Tiger.
Police at the scene said they found a Ziploc bag filled with a white powder and two empty prescription bottles.
Police told ABC News the death is still under investigation pending the full medical examiner's report including a toxicology. Nothing yet indicates it was a murder and no one has been charged with a crime, said Sgt. Scott Pascarella, spokesman for the Jupiter Police Department.
"We're conducting a death investigation to dispel any rumors that it's a homicide. There is nothing so suspicious that we have ruled it a homicide, but we're waiting for the toxicology. We initially thought it would take eight weeks, but we've since been told it could take four months," Pascarella said.
The case is still under investigation, he said, because of the victim's age and the fact that he was found in a pool.
Ash wouldn't return calls seeking comment but recently told The New York Times that "[Filomena] confessed to me on tape. … I believe she absolutely did it."
Ash has been arrested 11 times and is a known associate of Heidi Fleiss, the so-called Hollywood madam, according to police records.
Jupiter investigators interviewed Ash and listened to the alleged tape-recorded confession. They said nothing about it led them to change the status of their investigation.
"We looked into it. We flew out to California and interviewed Ash, listened to the tape, came back and the case hasn't been reclassified," said Pascarella.
Lawyers for Filomena called the allegations "completely untrue" and portrayed the brothers as desperate to get their hands on the money owed Tobias' widow.
"What the brothers are doing is a tragedy. The allegations are completely untrue. There is absolutely no evidence to support their claim," said Gary Dunkel, one of Filomena's four attorneys.
"It's hard to respond to the allegations when they offer no real evidence. … All they've done is put their deceased brother's lifestyle out in the media — the drugs, the gay sex," he said.
James Pressley, the lawyer for the brothers, would not comment beyond the allegations listed in the lawsuit.
Tobias, who was from Philadelphia, formed Circle T in 1996 with $4 million, according to the Times. The firm is returning investors' money, which is intact, the newspaper said.