Search Halted for Missing Millionaire in Florida

By Forward Staff

Published June 22, 2012.
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Police called off the search for along the south Florida coast for Guma Aguiar, a Florida businessman and philanthropist who has given millions to Jewish nonprofit organizations.

Aguilar’s 31-foot yacht, the T.T. Zion, washed ashore Wednesday in Ft. Lauderdale with its motor running and lights on. The owner was nowhere to be found, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Fort Lauderdale Police Detective Travis Mandell told the paper investigators believe Aguiar got in the boat alone.

“But that’s not to say he didn’t meet up with anyone,” the detective said.

Aguiar, the CEO of Leor Energy who lives in Fort Lauderdale, was last seen around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

His wallet and cell phone were found on the beach.

In 2009, Aguiar gave $8 million to the pro-aliyah group Nefesh B’Nefesh and $500,000 to March of the Living, which takes high school-aged Jews to Poland to see Holocaust sites. He also became a fixture of Israeli sports pages when he became the main sponsor of the Israeli Premier League soccer team Beitar Jerusalem.

While Aguiar, who has a Jewish mother, did not grow up with much of a Jewish background, he later returned to Judaism and has made large gifts to Jewish and Israeli causes. He made his fortune when he discovered huge natural gas reserves in Texas.

With JTA


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