Failed business venture shaping up as motive for murder of Aleksandr Gorbach in Port St. Lucie

PORT ST. LUCIE — Family members of Mikhail Sergatiouk told police he was angry over a business venture with Aleksandr Gorbach, saying Sergatiouk lost a large sum of money during a "bad business separation."

Hours after Port St. Lucie Police say Sergatiouk, 60, fatally shot Gorbach, 43, in Gorbach's home in Port St. Lucie, Coral Springs police spoke to investigators in Port St. Lucie. Coral Springs police said they were dispatched to a residence to speak with Sergatiouk's daughter, who said her father indicated "he shot his business partner, Alex Gorbach," according to records released Tuesday.

These and other details about the weekend case were revealed in a warrant application for Sergatiouk, who was found dead with a self-inflicted shotgun wound Monday morning about two miles from his Coral Springs home.

When Port St. Lucie police arrived at Gorbach's house and spoke with his wife and children, they learned Gorbach was cleaning fish in the kitchen sink when they heard a "bang" and glass breaking.

"They next saw Aleksandr fall back to the ground with extensive trauma to his chest," the warrant application states.

His wound appeared consistent with a shotgun blast. A screen enclosure had been cut, and Gorbach's wife told police it had not been cut prior to the incident.

Gorbach's wife couldn't tell investigators about a possible suspect, but about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Coral Springs police called and said they were dispatched to a home and spoke with Sergatiouk's daughter. She said her father told her "he shot his business partner, Alex Gorbach," records show.

Sergatiouk's daughter told Port St. Lucie police her father approached her and her mother and referred to shooting his partner. Sergatiouk's daughter said it wasn't like her dad to joke in such a manner and that she only knew him to have one business partner: Gorbach.

She knew her father didn't like Gorbach due to a "bad business separation," during which Sergatiouk lost a large amount of money.

Gorbach's wife told Port St. Lucie police she and her husband "were in financial despair and the house was currently in foreclosure," records state.

"Aleksandr's main source of income is his company identified as Bauer Comfort which is based out of his listed residence," the warrant application states.

Gorbach's and Sergatiouk's names appear on state corporate records relating to Bauer.

Gorbach's homesteaded property in the 700 block of Portage Avenue in Port St. Lucie is up to date on its property taxes, according to the county tax collector's website. However, property taxes for several other properties listed under Gorbach's name have not been paid. Gorbach also had a foreclosure judgment on Feb. 11, 2010, that involved four Port St. Lucie properties, according to the Clerk of the Circuit Court's website.

Sergatiouk's wife and daughter didn't know Sergatiouk to carry a gun, and thought "this occurred because Mikhail was still angry over the failed business venture," the application states.

Port St. Lucie police learned a person on a scooter wearing a full-face shield helmet was seen leaving the area just as police arrived. The Sergatiouk family has a car, scooter and motorcycle, and police determined Sergatiouk had the scooter.

Using cell phone technology, police determined Sergatiouk's son called Sergatiouk's number about 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Gorbach's home is between two cell towers involved in the call.

Gorbach's wife told police Gorbach had a "business falling out" with Sergatiouk, saying she "believes the business was not dissolved by mutual agreement," records show.

She thought that happened about two years ago. She said her husband tried to call Sergatiouk within the past six months, but they apparently never spoke.

Police said the immigration status of Sergatiouk and Gorbach didn't play a role in the investigation.

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