Assistant Claims Wife Killed Circle T Partners Founder

Oct 19 2007 | 11:23am ET

An associate of Circle T Partners founder Seth Tobias, who was found dead in his pool last month, is making explosive new claims about the hedge fund manager’s death.

William Ash, who says he worked for five years as a personal assistant to Tobias and his wife, told FINalternatives that Tobias’ widow, Filomena, is responsible for his death. Ash also claims that Filomena confessed to murdering Tobias, her third husband, in a phone call the week of his death.

“A few days later, in a conversation, is when she just started talking about what happened on Sunday, going into Monday, and then how she eventually did it Monday night,” Ash said. He claims that Jupiter, Fla., police recorded “hundreds” of calls between himself and Filomena.

A spokesman for the Jupiter police did not return calls for comment.

Ash, who lives in San Diego, says that the phone call in which Filomena Tobias confessed to the alleged murder was not recorded. He says she never explicitly admitted killing her husband again.

“It’s like a big jigsaw puzzle,” he says of their subsequent, recorded conversations, which began the Friday after Labor Day and continued through last Friday. “You have to put all the tapes together.”

Jupiter police are awaiting the results of toxicology tests on Tobias, though they have not said they suspect foul play. Ash says it was “not necessarily poisoning” that killed his employer.

“It definitely wasn’t only that, if that was the case. There were a lot of other things that happened,” he alleges. “When she did her first thing…she had everything very thought out, and then he didn’t die. Then she had to hurry up and think, ‘I don’t want him living anymore.’ She had every opportunity, and every step of that night, over the course of all of those hours, at any given time she could have changed her mind and said, ‘Am I losing my mind? Why am I doing this?’ And she never did.”

Ash declined to specify how he believes Filomena Tobias allegedly tried, failed and eventually succeeded in murdering her husband.

Michael Posner, one of Filomena Tobias’ five lawyers, declined to comment on Ash’s allegations. But Jupiter police have cast doubt on Ash’s credibility, pointing to his criminal past.

Ash says his past—he claims to have run a major prostitution ring as an associate of famed “Hollywood Madame” Heidi Fleiss, including arrests for living off of the proceeds of a prostitute and writing bad checks—was no secret to the Tobiases at the time of his hiring, and wasn’t a problem.

According to Ash, the Tobiases had a volatile relationship, including frequent battles over money. Further, Ash claims that Seth Tobias was gay, and battled drug and alcohol addiction.

“The marriage was a façade: He was gay,” he said. “As far as I’m aware, he’s always had boyfriends.” His most recent, according to Ash, was an exotic dancer from a club in Palm Beach, Fla., who is to be deposed, along with Ash, on Monday, as part of Filomena Tobias’ battle with her husband’s family over his multi-million dollar fortune. Seth Tobias left his wife out of his will, though she is claiming to be his sole heiress.

Meanwhile, the $80-million hedge fund run by Tobias is being wound down, and money returned to investors. Two other Circle T funds, run by other partners, remain in tact.

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