Police Clear Wife in Death of CNBC's Seth Tobias

Police find no foul play in the shady, scandalous death of Seth Tobias.

Feb. 12, 2008— -- After a five-month investigation into the bizarre death of CNBC commentator Seth Tobias, Florida police closed the case Monday, clearing his wife of any suspicion and setting her up to inherit $25 million.

"As of yesterday our case is closed," said Sgt. Scott Pascarella, spokesman for the Jupiter Police Department. "We reviewed the evidence and toxicology and there is no indication of criminality concerning the death of Seth Tobias."

Since he was found dead in the swimming pool of his Florida mansion around midnight on Sept. 4, 2007, Tobias' four brothers have claimed his wife, Filomena Tobias, lured her husband to his death by drugging him and enticing him with sex with a male prostitute.

Tobias was the 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.

Civil Suit Pending

Filomena Tobias has legally contested Tobias's will, which was written before their one-year marriage and names his brothers as the beneficiaries of his $25 million estate.

In a civil suit against Filomena, the brothers have tried to block her access to the inheritance by claiming she "intentionally killed" Tobias "by asphyxiation and drowning." The brothers' suit is based on a Florida statute known as the "slayer statute," which prohibits murderers from profiting from their crimes.

Police never officially declared Filomena Tobias a suspect in the investigation, but the civil suit is pending.

Much of the brothers' case relies on the word of William Ash, a convicted felon and former assistant to Tobias, who police said has worked as a gay prostitute. Ash told authorities he had a recording of Filomena confessing to murdering her husband.

Ash has been arrested 11 times and is a known associate of Heidi Fleiss, the so-called "Hollywood Madam," according to police records.

In December, police said they had reviewed the alleged recording and did not find it substantial, but were waiting on the medical examiner's report before classifying the death a homicide.

"Based upon the evidence available at this time, including the autopsy and toxicology reports, there is no indication of criminality in the death of Mr. Tobias," said a statement by the Florida State Attorney in Palm Beach County.

Plastic Baggie, White Powder Found

In the brothers' civil suit against Filomena they claimed she 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."

Police at the scene said they found a Ziploc bag filled with a white powder and two empty prescription bottles.

Despite the release of today's police report, it appears for now that the civil trial brought against Filomena by the brothers will continue, said her lawyer, Jay Jacknin.

"Filomena is grateful that this issue is behind her, but is still mourning the death of her husband," Jacknin said. "She really hasn't had time to grieve because of the meritless allegations made against her … The brothers can still go forward on their civil claim, but I don't think there is much merit to it. We're trying to get to get the case trial and get it behind her."

"We have always known there was no truth to the allegations made by Ash and the brothers, and now after an extensive investigation, the police have proven it," he said.

Calls made today to the brothers' attorney, James Pressley, were not returned.