In fact, Scherer said Aguiar may have been crazy enough to stage his disappearance to avoid possible court sanctions or criminal charges for allegedly hacking into Kaplan’s computer to obtain confidential legal and financial information critical to the case.
“His mother files motions in courts trying to take over everything while the divers were still out looking for his body,” Scherer said.
HIS LONGTIME STRUGGLE TO REMAIN STABLE
Despite all his success, Aguiar struggled to be stable for most of his life. He suffered from severe bipolar disorder, was arrested several times after bizarre tirades, institutionalized at least twice, and detained involuntarily for psychiatric evaluation under the state’s Baker Act a litany of times.
He divided his time between Fort Lauderdale and Israel after traveling there to explore his Jewish roots several years ago. He invested more than $40 million in Israeli properties and also owned large stakes in the country’s pro soccer and basketball teams. His charitable foundations donated millions to the country and he was on a first-name basis with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
His friends and family say that despite his illness, Aguiar was a brilliant businessman whose star quality led him to rub elbows with presidents, heads of state and rock stars like Madonna.
“I look at Guma like a lion — powerful and determined — but with the nervous system of a thoroughbred race horse,” said his mother, Ellen Aguiar, 59.
Over the past year, as Guma’s mental health deteriorated, the family became concerned over sour business deals he had invested in and the possibility he was surrounding himself with people who were taking advantage of his scattered faculties.
“He was worried that people running his affairs were not loyal to him,” his mother said. And in the months before he disappeared, he spiraled out of control as if he was Alice in Wonderland falling down the rabbit hole.
His wife had filed a legal action to nullify their pre-nuptial agreement, which called for her to receive just $500,000 in the event their marriage ended. She also contended that her husband had deceived her about the net worth of the company he had sold.
At one point last year, she filed a restraining order against him after he assaulted her and her father, Scherer said Thursday. Jamie Aguiar declined to comment for this story on the advice of her attorney.
“There was a good Guma and a bad Guma,” Scherer said. The good Guma was generous, kind, a loving husband and father and made good business decisions.
The other Guma, however, wasted millions of dollars on ghost companies and sports teams, threatened his wife and once told police he planned to kidnap his children and take them to Israel.
“He was very fearful, he felt very alone,” said his mother, who had been trying for years to get him into a reputable long-term mental-health treatment facility. She believes that medicating her son only compounded his mental problems; he needed the kind of treatment that looked more deeply into the root cause.
At the time of his disappearance, he was being treated with various medications by Dr. Scott Segal of North Miami. Segal’s onetime assistant, Suzanne Faulkner, went to work for Guma Aguiar in September, and now serves as his company’s chief operating officer.