TEMECULA (CBSLA) – A Georgia man accused in a scheme in which he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from several people – including his own mother –for fake Super Bowl tickets, was caught in a Temecula casino this week after being spotted by an alert employee.
Ketan Shah, 48, was arrested Tuesday by Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies at the Pechanga Casino and Resort after a casino worker recognized Shah from recent media coverage and called authorities, the Gwinnett County Police Department in Georgia reports.
According to Gwinnett police, at least six people paid Shah for Super Bowl tickets they never received. One victim reportedly paid Shah $500,000 for what for his “entertainment company to host a large Super Bowl event at an arena,” police said. Shah’s mother told investigators she gave her son $36,000 in the scam, WSB-TV in Atlanta reports.
Shah’s behavior leading up to the scam were also bizarre. Shah, who owns a digital printing business, was initially reported missing in December, Gwinnett police said. He then came home after having gone to Las Vegas, but then disappeared again in January. Police said he then traveled through Florida, Alabama, Oklahoma New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona before coming to California.
His wife also told investigators he had recently taken out a $500,000 loan against his own business, WSB-TV reports.
After the Pechanga employee had spotted Shah and notified authorities, Gwinnett police obtained a felony warrant for his arrest, and Riverside Sheriff’s deputies took him into custody.
He is currently being held without bail in the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta on one count of felony theft by conversion. He is expected to be extradited back to Georgia.