The luxurious Jerusalem mansion of Guma Aguiar, the Jewish millionaire who went missing mysteriously in 2012 and has since been declared dead, was sold to a Russian Jewish tycoon for 15 million shekels (nearly $4 million).
According to Yedioth Aharonoth, the sale of the two connected housing units in the exclusive Yemin Moshe neighborhood located near the Old City took place after an Italian Christian buyer’s offer of 12.5 million shekels was surpassed by the Russian tycoon.
The mansion was the personal residence in Jerusalem of Aguiar, who owned the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball team, and bought Jerusalem’s Beitar Jerusalem soccer team. It was where he stayed when he lived in Israel, until he left for Florida.
Aguiar invested a large sum of money in decorating the mansion, installing a sauna and gym in the basement, and adding on an entire wing designed for his children.
The size of the property stands at 420 square meters, which along with its prime location and view of the western walls of the Old City made it a real estate prize in the Israeli capital.
Aguiar disappeared at sea off Fort Lauderdale in June 2012. He was last seen on a surveillance video taking a fishing boat out into choppy waters; his 31-foot long boat surfaced early the next morning off Las Olas Boulevard with the lights and engine still running.
Aguiar’s wallet and cell phone were found on board, but no remains of him were ever found, despite intense search efforts.
His mother, Ellen Aguiar, and wife Jamie, had been locked in lawsuits for control of his estates worth $100 million. Jamie accused her mother-in-law of wanting to drive a wedge between her and Guma, while Ellen said that the reason Guma went out to sea on the day he disappeared was that he was distraught after Jamie told him she wants to divorce him. Jamie completely denies this version of events.
Last November, a court approved a compromise agreed upon by the sides, according to which Aguiar’s estate would be divided among his heirs.
Aguiar gained sudden fame in Israel as a charismatic figure who was associated with the Israeli religious right wing and gave generously to Torah institutes and yeshivas.