Jay Shah, 48, who was convicted of stealing three luxury condominiums in San Francisco’s One Rincon Hill tower, was arrested in Watsonville at a Days Inn motel.
After his conviction in September on over a dozen felony counts, including grand theft, Shah fled.
Shah and his co-conspirators Melvin Emerich (Shah’s attorney), Winston Lum, and Kaushal Niroula played various roles in order to fool real estate agents and steal the properties (title fraud) from their owner Shirley Hwang. They then duped lenders into extending them a $2.2 million equity loan (loan fraud, mortgage fraud), which they divided among themselves.
Hwang alerted authorities when mail to one of the defendants was sent to her address and has since recovered title. All three of the condos are worth in excess of $6 million.
Kaushal Niroula was recently convicted in Riverside County for conspiring along with attorney David Replogle, Daniel Carlos Garcia and Miguel Bustamante for murdering Palm Springs retiree Clifford Lambert and stealing title to Lambert’s home and art work and looting his bank accounts. Craig McCarthy pleaded guilty in 2010 to voluntary manslaughter and turned state’s evidence on his former friends; he is awaiting sentencing this month. Art dealer Russell Manning pleaded guilty to fraud related to the theft of the art and received a five-year prison sentence.
Read the original article in the Silicon Valley Mercury News. More details of Jay Shah’s crimes can be found in this article in SFGate and KESQ.com and there are numerous postings on the California Real Estate Fraud Report about the Lambert murder and David Replogle.