(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) — 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 on Thursday.
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 Thursday evening. But earlier on Thursday, 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 ABC News 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.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
James Griffiths and Shen Lu
Sam Turner, Deseret News