This week's cover story is about the disappearance of Guma Aguiar, a wealthy Brazilian-born convert to Judaism who used his oil and gas fortune to buy many properties in Israel.
|Aguiar (right) with his rabbi and friend Tovia Singer at the police station atop the Western Wall, close to the apartment he bought for his mother.|Among the properties Guma Aguiar purchased in Israel are several homes in the Yemin Moshe quarter of Jerusalem, just west of the Old City, as well as a couple of properties within steps of the Western Wall, one of Judaism's holiest sites.
He bought one property for his mother, on Misgav Ladach, overlooking the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock. Below is an email from Aguiar to his mother, telling her about the property.
The email is included in his mother's legal filings in the probate case that's attempting to sort out who gets control of his various fortunes, of which real estate makes up a large part. Aguiar bought several properties in the name of his mother, brother, and sisters. His mother never converted to Judaism (she raised Aguiar as a devout Christian), and the filings seem to indicate that the properties were intended as gifts that would avoid some taxes.
Below, there's an email from sister Angelika, who was helping to design one of Aguiar's Israeli residences in December 2007. Corey is her husband, whom Aguiar employed through Leor Exploration, the energy company through which he and his uncle made millions.