A biographical film is just one of several projects he has worked on with filmmaker Jerry Levine.
One video Levine released was shot in the bright white outdoor light of South Florida, and shows a happy, smiling Guma Aguiar and his wife, Jamie in 2011, boarding his fishing boat, the T.T. Zion.
With the high, sweet voices of three of their young children in the background, Aguiar is shown ably piloting the 31-foot boat he was last seen getting into 18 nights ago.
The boat is a tender to his 75-foot, $2.1 million Lazzara yacht called Zion. Jamie Aguiar petitioned a probate judge July 3 to sell the larger vessel, as well as the family’s $5 million Rio Vista Isles mansion and keep the proceeds in a trust, pending her husband’s return.
“Jamie has concluded she must face the possibility that she may never see Guma again and, accordingly, must be frugal to preserve the family fortune to the greatest extent possible,” the filing reads.
Aguiar, 35, enjoys boats in two of several vanity videos that can be found on the Internet.
And if he never turns up, the footage may become a legacy — along with charitable gifts like $8 million to a group that helps Jews move to Israel — of a contradiction-filled personal history.
A born-again Christian, he converted to Judaism.
A college dropout and one-time tennis teacher in Boca Raton, he co-founded Leor Exploration & Production LLC, a natural gas company that he and his maternal uncle sold in 2007 for $2.55 billion.
He was named Oil and Gas Magazine’s executive of the year. But after making $180 million selling the company, lawsuits begun in 2009 may cost the young investor everything he built.
Guma Aguiar was hospitalized twice for mental breakdowns, his mother Ellen Aguiar says.
Though he hoped to become a world leader and campaign for peace in the Middle East, last year he was arrested on charges of domestic violence, pleaded no contest and was on probation when he went missing.
He filed for divorce in 2011 but withdrew the petition. On April 23, 2012, Jamie Aguiar, 33, sought a judge’s opinion over whether the couple’s prenuptial agreement was fraudulent.
Two months later, Aguiar’s disappearance prompted a 48-hour ocean search by the U.S. Coast Guard and generated headlines here and in Israel.
Levine called Aguiar “a wonderful, amazing guy, but complicated,” and said they shot a lot of video while working on five films.
“Some were to show his philanthropic initiatives, another to show who he was, and what he did wildcatting with Leor Energy,” Levine said. “Another was about his political interests in Israel and his goals for peace in the Middle East.”
And when Aguiar was well, Levine said, “we were pitching a TV show to take place there, like “Survivor,” but with Special Ops forces from different countries that don’t like each other but have to work together to win.”
Another video by Levine shows Aguiar in an apartment that faces the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Subtitles say he was going to donate it to be used as a religious education center.
“I don’t even feel like it’s mine,” Aguiar says as footage shows the plaza that leads to the sacred religious site. “It’s better to turn it into something that’s a legacy that people will remember, and be able to really grow from.”
He later says about his future gift of the center, “Whether you’re Jewish or not, this will be something that everybody will be able to really enjoy.”
An investor in pro basketball and soccer teams in Israel, the video also shows Aguiar at a sporting match there and with religious leaders as he prays and promotes the Lubavitch movement.
“He said people listen to the owners of sports teams,” Levine said of a platform Aguiar hoped would move his agendas forward.
Of Jamie Aguiar, Levine said, “She’s a wonderful person. He’s not an easy guy to be married to. Most would have walked away a year ago.”
Lawsuits against Aguiar threaten his family’s remaining $100 million fortune and are prompting his wife to shed the expensive house and the yacht that she and the kids don’t use, her filing says.
Fort Lauderdale Police said Thursday Aguiar is still considered a missing person after his fishing boat washed ashore on a city beach in the early morning hours of June 20.
Longtime Fort Lauderdale friends who attended Westminster Academy with him are hoping he’s still alive.
During the first quarter of 2012, the Aguiars socialized with other couples with ties to Westminster Academy. There were house parties where games were played, they went bowling in Wilton Manors and celebrated a friend’s birthday in February with a big bash at a waterside home.
“My opinion is he is, and was, a very, very good person,” said Graydon Oliver, Aguiar’s former high school doubles tennis partner who remembered Aguiar’s “unusually strong and consistent” overhead shot. The men kept in touch by phone. “He’d give you the shirt off his back, and I’ve seen him do that for a lot of people.”
Bob Denison, president of a yacht sales company and another of Aguiar’s Westminster classmates, said the men lived together for a while after graduating in 1995.
He recalled how they would visit Broward House during Thursday bingo nights “to say ‘hi’ to some of the guys we’d take to church. He really liked to connect with people. One time he hired three guys to work on sprinklers and landscaping. He’d find creative ways to help people and give them work and money. And this happened when he didn’t have all that much money.”
Denison said of Jamie Aguiar’s petition to sell the high-end assets, “I don’t blame her for selling the yacht and house. There’s a lot of wisdom in that.”
When the Aguiars were dating, Denison said, “they were one of those great couples, and very much in love. They really adored each other and had that authentic, sweet thing about them.”
He called Jamie Aguiar “one of the more loyal and faithful people that any of us know. She just doesn’t have anything but the greatest intentions for her family and friends. Few women in this city have been put through the crap that she’s been put through, for years. And it’s just a shame that she has to go through any of this.”
He said Jamie Aguiar is relying on “a great circle of girlfriends and a great family” for support.
Her missing husband called her “a woman of valor” in one video dedication.
What may be Guma Aguiar’s final video is silent. Home surveillance clips released by Fort Lauderdale police show Aguiar outside the mansion, cigarette in hand, and later, getting into his fishing boat, alone.
When the fishing boat was found, police said, its captain had vanished. Among the items left behind: his cellphone, wallet and a pack of Marlboros.
Video captures missing millionaire Aguiar in happier moments
July, 6, 2012