Kaushal Niroula, 31, and Daniel Carlos Garcia, 30, who have both been the subject of multiple postings on the California Real Estate Fraud Report, are awaiting the jury’s verdict in a trial located in Indio for which both have been charged with murder and conspiracy, as well as other felony counts. Both men are representing themselves.
Attorney David Replogle was already convicted in January and sentenced to life in prison this past May in this case, which centers around the murder of 74-year old Palm Springs retiree Clifford Lambert. Miguel Bustamante was convicted along with Replogle and received the same prison sentence. Craig McCarthy, Bustamante’s roommate, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and will be sentenced next month. Art dealer Russell Manning pleaded guilty to fraud-related charges in the theft of Lambert’s art work and was sentenced to five years in prison.
Deputy District Attorney Lisa DiMaria said Daniel Garcia met Clifford Lambert online. He eventually sent Kaushal Niroula Lambert’s address and phone number. Soon thereafter, Replogle and Niroula flew together to Burbank airport from San Francisco, from which they then drove to Lambert’s home in Palm Springs on Dec. 1, 2008. Niroula falsely represented to Lambert that he was an attorney working for a family in New York that had left Lambert money or artwork in a will.
Four days later, while Niroula was at the house, he let McCarthy and Bustamante inside. According to McCarthy, Bustamante stabbed Lambert to death while McCarthy held him. They buried him in the desert (Lambert’s body has never been found), then stole his car and debit car and made use of both.
DiMaria alleged that on Dec. 10, Niroula opened a Wells Fargo bank account in David Replogle’s name. On Dec. 11, Replogle, pretending he was Lambert, went to art dealer Manning and gave him power of attorney over all Lambert’s accounts. Manning and Lambert then transferred $185,000 from the dead man’s Palm Springs bank account to Replogle’s new Wells Fargo account.
The following day, Replogle and Niroula went to see a notary and Replogle forged four power of attorney documents (title fraud, real estate fraud). Replogle and Manning then cleaned out the remainder of Lambert’s monies from his bank accounts.
Read the original article in Estate of Denial.