Tuesday, 9 February 2016
Last updated 18 hours ago
Jun 16 2008 | 2:00am ET
The strange and sordid saga of hedge fund manager Seth Tobias’ death has taken another unexpected turn.
Tobias’ widow, Filomena, and his half-brothers, who had accused her of killing Tobias, have reached a settlement just days before their battle over his estate, estimated to be as much as $25 million, was set to go to trial in Florida.
The estate case was scheduled to begin tomorrow. Instead, Judge Richard Oftedal of Palm Beach County Probate Court will be asked to approve the proposed deal, the terms of which were not disclosed.
Tobias, the founder of Circle T Partners, was found dead in his pool in September with alcohol and drugs in his system. As lurid details about the hedge fund honcho’s private life emerged, a former personal assistant to Tobias and his wife, William Ash, claimed that Filomena Tobias had murdered her husband and confessed to him her crime.
But police were unimpressed by Ash’s story—and inability to get Filomena Tobias to repeat her confession on tape—and in February announced that no charges would be filed against her.
The agreement reportedly calls for Sam and Spence Tobias, who sued to have their brother’s pre-Filomena will reinstated and have her cut off, to retract their allegations against her, although their attorney denies that is the case.
“That statement is absolutely not true,” James Pressly told the Palm Beach Post. But Filomena Tobias’ sister, Nancy Antoloni, told the newspaper that the settlement hinged on “a full retraction.”
“It was never about the money. She doesn’t need the money,” Antoloni told the Post. “Why drag everyone through a trial. Give them a little money and get a full retraction.”
The Post reports that both sides agreed to a press release to be issued as part of the settlement.
The settlement comes in spite of several rulings that bolstered Filomena Tobias’ defense of her inheritance. Last week, Judge Oftedal ruled that the Tobias brothers could not present obscenity-laced e-mails she wrote to her husband, or call friends and employees to testify that he was afraid his wife would kill him. He also ruled that the Tobiases could not discuss her 2003 divorce from attorney Jay Jacknin—who now serves as her legal counsel.
“I am pleased that the case has been resolved amicably, and that both sides can move on with their lives,” Jacknin—Filomena Tobias’ third husband—told CNBC.
Nor will the settlement end the sad story of Seth Tobias: Filomena Tobias’ sister says she plans to sue Ash, who Antoloni says was being paid by Sam and Spence Tobias.
“She was talking to him for comfort and advice,” she told the Post. “She had no idea about his criminal past. He told her he worked for Nancy Reagan.”