TEMECULA, Ca. - A Georgia businessman who went missing after allegedly scamming people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars for fake Super Bowl tickets has been found in California, police said.
Ketan Shah, 48, of Lawrenceville, was apprehended this week in California. At least six people have told Gwinnett County police that Shah offered to sell them Super Bowl tickets. He took more than $750,000 in payments from people, including Shah’s mother, who never received the tickets Shah claimed to be selling, WSB-TV reported.
One victim paid Shah $500,000 to host a Super Bowl party “at an arena,” according to police. Another victim, John Michael Brunetti, said he paid $50,000 for a pair of tickets on the 50-yard line of Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Shah was reported missing in December by his family. He first went to Las Vegas “on what was described as a midlife crisis” and returned that month, only to leave again a few days later, police said. As the Super Bowl approached last week, Shah’s wife said he’d been missing for four weeks.
Detectives investigating Shah determined he had traveled to Miami, Oklahoma, Alabama, New Mexico, Arizona, Las Vegas and California during the weeks he was missing. A casino worker in Riverside, California, had seen news coverage of Shah’s alleged scam and recognized Shah at the Pechanga Casino and Resort in Temecula, California. A Riverside County sheriff’s deputy confirmed Shah was at the resort and told Gwinnett County detectives. After ensuring Shah’s extradition from California, police took a warrant out for Shah’s arrest and Riverside County deputies took him into custody.
Shah is currently charged with one count of theft by conversion, but more charges are expected to be added soon, police said. The case is still active, according to police. Shah is currently being held in California and will be transported to Gwinnett County in the near future.
Anyone with information about this case, including any potential unreported victims, is asked to contact Gwinnett County detectives at 770-513-5300 or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477. Crime Stoppers tips may be rewarded with up to $2,000 if they lead to an arrest or indictment.
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