Rabbis Work Out Truce Between Missing Millionaire's Feuding Mom and Wife

Guma Aguiar's wife and mother battle over missing man's $100 million fortune.

June 28, 2012, 2:00 PM

June 28, 2012 — -- 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 today.

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 this evening. But earlier today 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 ABCNews.com 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.

"Hell hath no fury like a mother and daughter-in-law scorned turned into the court really bringing the parties together," Baron said.

But the hearing was not without emotion. Jamie Aguiar cried in the courtroom and Ellen Aguiar's attorneys said they were "outraged" at the suggestion from Jamie Aguiar's attorney that Guma Aguiar could have staged his own disappearance.

Earlier today, a handwritten note on a 2011 legal filing obtained by ABCNews.com showed that Guma Aguiar objected to the appointment of his wife "to serve in any capacity" over his person or property.

Hours before the court hearing, each woman made another legal move slinging insults in two new legal filings obtained by ABCNews.com.

Aguiar's body has not been found and there has been no proof that he is dead.

"The evidence will show that the Counter-Petition was the only way for Jamie Aguiar to protect the interests of herself and her children from what is sadly the latest in a long line of Ellen Aguiar's pervasive, persistent, and ill-advised attempts to disrupt the home life of Jamie, Guma, and their children and seize control of their finances," Jamie Aguiar's attorney William Scherer wrote in a filing on her behalf.

Ellen Aguiar's attorney Richard Baron fired back in a responding filing: "The Counter Petitioner [Jamie Aguiar] threatened the Absentee with divorce which drove him to the mental instability which led directly to his disappearance and then has the unmitigated gall to act as the grieving widow. Nothing could be further from the truth."

Ellen Aguiar's filing included as evidence Guma Aguiar's power of attorney document, which was signed on July 1, 2011.

In the document, he revoked all of his previous powers of attorney, adding in a handwritten clause, "Specifically, I revoke all powers of attorney that I have given to my wife, Jamie Aguiar aka Jamie Black Aguiar, to act in any way on by behalf. I further OBJECT [emphasis his] to the appointment of my wife Jamie Black Aguiar, aka Jamie Aguiar, to serve in any capacity as guardian of my person and/or property, or to have authority to act on my behalf. At the present time my wife and I are in conflict and her interests are adverse to my interests."

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.

Ellen Aguiar's attorneys insist that Guma Aguiar's wishes were clear and pointed to an even more recent filing Guma made.

"The fact that the Absentee revoked Jamie's designation as his pre-need guardian and substituted his mother in May of this year (2012) further supports the conclusion that the Absentee does not want Jamie Aguiar handling his assets."

"Apparently the Absentee foresaw these events," Ellen Aguiar's filing said, referring to Jamie Aguiar's behavior.

Jamie Aguiar's attorneys insist that her actions have only been in response to her mother-in-law's initial move to gain control, saying the legal battle has brought added stress on her and her family. The filing calls Ellen Aguiar "someone who can only kindly be described as an overly intrusive mother-in-law."

"Now, only one week after her Husband's abrupt and heart-wrenching disappearance, instead of being given the time to take a breath, focus on the needs of her children, and grieve, Jamie Aguiar is forced to spend time dealing with the stress of having to appear at an evidentiary hearing," her attorney wrote.

The devoutly Jewish Aguiar is known for being the main sponsor for an elite Israeli soccer team and making multi-million dollar charitable gifts to Jewish organizations. He has also had a number of personal transgressions.

He has been arrested several times, including for drug possession and driving under the influence, according to court records. He is also currently on probation after pleading no contest to domestic violence charges.

In 2010, he was involuntarily admitted to an Israeli psychiatric hospital after his erratic behavior.

Aguiar made his fortune in 2006 when he and his uncle Thomas Kaplan sold their Texas-based energy company for a reported $2.5 billion. The two have been in a messy legal battle since 2009 over the division of the money.

They went on to say that he was the victim of what amounted to "psychological terrorism."

In 2011, he was appointed an emergency guardian after his wife and mother petitioned a Miami-Dade judge for one.

The couple has four children, the youngest of whom is 10 months old. They also have a 3-year-old son, a 4-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son.