life in the fast lane: tales of true love…… #13

In Uncategorized on 12/18/2006 at 7:01 pm

Winnipeg’s Adam Anhang was a savvy businessman, but unlucky in love. His first marriage was brief. His second marriage lasted only a few months, and ended with his murder in Puerto Rico.

Mr. Anhang, 32, was stabbed more than a dozen times and suffered a skull fracture when a man attacked him on the narrow cobblestone streets of Old San Juan on Sept. 23, 2005. His estranged wife, 26-year-old Aurea Vasquez, suffered minor injuries in the attack. Earlier that night, the two met at the Pink Skirt –a restaurant and bar Mr. Anhang had purchased for his wife — allegedly to discuss the terms of their impending divorce. Mr. Anhang, a slight, awkward man with a distinctive laugh, was worth millions: He was an ambitious real estate developer and chief executive of a successful online gambling software company.

Police in San Juan soon arrested Jonathan Roman, a 23-year-old dishwasher at the Pink Skirt. Investigators initially speculated the suspect had an affair with Ms. Vasquez before the murder.

At a court hearing in Puerto Rico today, more than a year later, lawyers are expected to discuss the results of DNA tests on material found beneath Mr. Anhang’s fingernails and possibly set a date for the murder trial.
But Mr. Anhang’s parents in Winnipeg are convinced there is more to the story. In court documents filed in Puerto Rico disputing Ms. Vasquez’s claim to their son’s estate, they allege his wife “and others conspired to assassinate” their son.

The Anhangs have also filed a US$50-million lawsuit against Mr. Roman, Ms. Vasquez, her siblings and several unnamed defendants for their son’s wrongful death. The lawsuit alleges Ms. Vasquez has refused to co-operate with police investigating her husband’s murder, even after being served with three subpoenas. The Anhangs believe Ms. Vasquez fled to Italy after the murder. “You expect that if your husband or your wife gets killed, that you would be leading all the efforts to find out who killed your husband or your wife. “That would be the logical thing,” said Luis. G. Rullan, the lawyer representing Mr. Anhang’s parents. “What she did was exactly the opposite. She fled.” Their lawsuit also claims Mr. Anhang was “misled” about the terms of the couple’s prenuptial agreement. The document overestimated Mr. Anhang’s worth at close to US$25-million, said Mr. Rullan, who declined to provide further details about Mr. Anhang’s finances. The allegations against Ms. Vasquez have not been proven in court and she is not facing criminal charges. Luis R. Rivera, the lawyer representing Ms. Vasquez in her claim against the Anhangs, says she was not involved in her husband’s murder. “She almost got killed herself,” Mr. Rivera said. Mr. Anhang’s parents are trying to prevent her from inheriting a share of his estate. “It’s all about money, really.” The tourist district of Old San Juan is so closely monitored by police that it would not be a good place to stage a murde,Mr. Rivera added.

Mr. Anhang’s career took him around the world. He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and went on an exotic scuba diving trip nearly every year. After graduating from the prestigious Wharton School of Business in Pennsylvania, he worked for real estate firms in New York, then struck out on his own, acting as a consultant to turn around companies in trouble. “Adam was born to be a businessman. He brought a briefcase with him to kindergarten,” his younger sister, Becky Anhang Price, said during her eulogy. “He ran his own business selling greeting cards out of his university dorm room.” While living in New York in 1997, he married a classmate, but the union was short-lived because his first wife was unfaithful, said Roberto M. Cacho, the young entrepreneur’s friend and business partner in Puerto Rico.

Mr. Anhang moved to Puerto Rico in 2004 to be closer to his multimillion-dollar real estate dealings there. He met Ms. Vasquez while he was in a bar with Mr. Cacho. Ms. Vasquez had lived in San Juan’s projects and was once a contestant in the Miss Puerto Rico Petite competition. Mr. Cacho said Mr. Anhang “desperately wanted to be loved” and did not know what he was getting himself into. “She was definitely looking for someone like Adam to take over her problems, which were all financial in nature,” Mr. Cacho said. “He accepted that role from the very beginning.” The couple were married in front of a judge in March, 2005.

But according to court documents filed by Mr. Anhang’s family, their relationship soured within a month because he learned his wife had been unfaithful and that he had been misled about the prenuptial agreement. Indeed, Mr. Anhang did not reveal his marriage to some of his close friends, said Yoav Leeran, a Wharton classmate living in Tel Aviv. “I did not know that they were married until he was murdered. He kept it to himself, even though we spoke after he married her, apparently,” Mr. Leeran said. “My explanation is I guess he understood the mistake he made the minute he made it.” Mr. Anhang spent six months trying to negotiate the terms of their divorce. Ms. Vasquez demanded her husband purchase the US$1.3-million home they rented in an exclusive San Juan neighbourhood and give it to her, Mr. Anhang’s parents claim.

For her part, Ms. Vasquez alleges she is entitled to 50% of Mr. Anhang’s capital. She is also demanding US$3,500 a month in support payments, as well as US$3,000 a month for medical expenses. Ms. Vasquez claims she was so committed to her husband that she was studying Judaism in order to convert to his family’s religion. His parents, however, dispute that claim.

The victim’s friend, Mr. Leeran, says he hopes justice will prevail. “In a very unique way, he affected the lives of people who knew him,” Mr. Leeran said. “He was a pretty young guy who hung around powerful, talented, significant people, and still proved to the people around him that being humane and very professional could coexist.”

Maria Vallis is a reporter with the National Post in Canada.
Published Thursday, December 14, 2006
© National Post 2006

  1. Nobody can be this stupid.

  2. That’s life… I’m just curious here what happened to the girl?

  3. wow, wild story.

  4. This guy can’t be for real, how can he be so successful handling multimillion dollar business deals and not able to negotiate a pre-nup properly??

  5. Sorry to be so redundant along with everyone here, but seriously, what a moron. Is too bad he’s dead and all but really…

  6. What a waste of a good life. A stupid way to die. Goes to show never trust a woman who wants you for the money. Stupid of him to be so obvious about it. Lots of guys try to ‘buy’ love. They have only themselves to blame.

  7. Any chance you got the wife’s picture? I googled her but nothing.

  8. Why does everyone assume the worst about the girl? What if in fact she was an innocent bystander. So much for presumption of innocence before proof

  9. Unfortunately I have no picture of her but will keep an eye open.
    Don’t you all find it strange that HE, mr entrepreneur, is said to have been misled about the prenup aggrement? As a successful businessman, he must have understood most contracts better than the norm.

  10. Not that strange. Many men who succeed in business make terrible personal choices for their mate. There must be some kind of a rational explanation for this. Probably something sexual, like J.Edger Hoover wearing women’s panties while director of FBI.

  11. Geeta, I think you meant to say ‘irrational’ explanation..:)

  12. Listen, the guy may have been stupid but stupidity doesn’t justify being murdered. I for one would love to see his wife, if she did do it, or more likely hired the dishwasher(!) to do it, get what she deserves.

  13. He sounds like a great guy. Its all the good ones that seems to die first. Its sad.

  14. I can understand him signing the prenup with a lawyer and not reading it carefully. It would make him look suspicious you know! Like he expected a divorce. It sounds wierd in the relm of logos but at the moment, especially for I guy who seems to not be very good with the emotive side of things, it may have been too much and he just signed it.

    Hey guys! He isn’t a Moron. Give the guy a breck – some people fall in love with love. Its becoming more and more common and his $ probably estranged him. I can picture how being so alone would make him do things he normally would not have done in another circle or enviroment.

  15. Very interesting. So are you saying she bought off the lawyer doing the prenup? You know, given the setting where they got married and all, puerto rico, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

  16. marriages should be thought of as a business deal. this poor fellow obviously thought differently. otherwise he might have had a radically different fate.

  17. hmm.. Marriage as a business deal. What an amazing concept! I can’t wait to go and tell my wife this right now 🙂

  18. It depends who you marry.

  19. if she doesn’t know by now, greg, it’s a little late.

    and what i mean is that there isn’t enough practicality in choosing who we marry. love ain’t enough and as the number one reason for divorce is money…well, you make the conjecture.

  20. I would dispute the ambiguity of the statement that ‘..the number one reason for divorce is money..’. Obviously it can’t be a generalized concept that lack of money is the issue. Why not say sex/love is the issue. Fact is, too much money is just as likely as anything to lead a couple astray. I would argue that poor people can’t afford to get divorced! Any case all that to say the primary reason couples split apart is simple incompatibility. Fundamentally, they were either never right for each other or, like a carton of milk, their love rotted away past the shelf life:)

  21. i’m not merely saying it’s a lack of money but of money in general. the sharing of expenses is a new element that couples have great difficulty dealing with. it spurs a lot of resentment and strain on multiple levels.

    i would not view sex as a leading cause as marriages can survive infidelities and bad sex. money is a day to day issue that will always be there. you either have it or you don’t. as for compatibility- sure, it provokes the initial attraction, but problems will arrise and if the parties involved do not know how to deal with it healthfully, the relationship will fail. all the compatibility in the world won’t save people who do not know how to deal with real life problems.

  22. Does anyone know how extensive a network of Romany Gypsies there is where the murder took place?

  23. Dateline NBC covered the hole story this past friday, March 14th called “Murder at Pink Skirt”.

  24. I disagree – money issues should be sorted out prior to marriage, e.g. partners who have different spending habits need to address this issue before they get married, not leave it and hope it will somehow work itself out (And while they’re at it, discuss whether or not they want children). There are many reasons for divorce; money is only one of them. I don’t think we can generalise about divorce, although many people (such as Adam) make very bad choices from the beginning for whatever reason when it is clear to everyone around them that they are bad choices. And rush into marriage.

    I also agree with the poster who wrote that a lot of poor people probably can’t afford to get divorced. There were many unhappy marriages in the past, but women were (generally)dependent on men, and it was socially unacceptable to divorce.

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