Betrayed by the ‘Vegas Swindler’: How a glamorous California lawyer allegedly stole $10m for epic shopping spree

Sara King, a California attorney, allegedly stole more than $10m to fund a Las Vegas spending spree, according to a federal lawsuit (CBS News)
Sara King, a California attorney, allegedly stole more than $10m to fund a Las Vegas spending spree, according to a federal lawsuit (CBS News)

California attorney Sara King has been accused of stealing more than $10m to fund a shopping spree in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Her husband Kamran Pahlavi, the grandson of Princess Ashraf of Iran – the deceased twin sister of the last shah – told The Daily Beast that Ms King drove a Rolls-Royce when they met and had dreams of campaigning for Congress as a Republican, and that she claimed to be a rising star within the legal profession.

‘Probably the best-dressed woman I had ever met’

“She already had a lavish lifestyle and was probably the best-dressed woman I had ever met,” he told the outlet. “Her sister was a lawyer, her brother-in-law was a lawyer. Her parents were very successful in the insurance business and very well-educated people.

“She was married at the time so I didn’t really see her as someone I could potentially date,” he said, referring to their 2018 business function meeting. But she soon split with her first husband.

“We were very much in love,” he said. “She was a beautiful, smart, classy, charismatic and fun lady, and I was literally head over heels about her.”

Mr Pahlavi now says he has been left to unravel a string of lies. Ms King allegedly stole millions from a company owned by one of his friends as well as hundreds of thousands from previous friends and business partners during the last few years.

Cake shaped like Chanel handbag among extravagant purchases

A company based in the British Virgin Islands sued Ms King this month, claiming that she stole $10m from the firm and lost it gambling in Vegas. Ms King, 39, often lived at the Wynn resort, spending money on expensive cars, designer clothes, jewellery, and a cake shaped like a Chanel handbag, according to The Daily Beast.

“King is no longer permitted on-property at Wynn Las Vegas,” a spokesperson told The Daily Beast.

Records reveal that Ms King has been sued several times in connection to debts that have been left unpaid, but it seems she hasn’t responded to the legal action. Legal records don’t show an attorney to speak on her behalf.

The State Bar of California lists an address for Ms King’s law firm, King Reuben, on its site, but no phone number, fax number, email, or website.

The site states that Ms King’s licence is active but that she was “suspended” on 1 July 2022 after she “failed to pay fees”.

The licence was listed as active again on 15 July.

Claimed short-term loans would yield high returns

LDR International Limited states in a complaint that they invested in Ms King’s short-term loan enterprise. She claimed that the loans to third parties would yield high returns and that they were secured by collateral including professional sports contracts.

The company said she shared images that appeared to indicate that she had connections to athletes.

“They show the lavish lifestyle she was living, jewelry, cars, and image she was trying to portray,” the lawsuit states.

In one image, she can be seen next to several NFL quarterbacks, including Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, and Josh Allen.

Alleged ‘Vegas Swindler’ Sara King with, from left: Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen (US District Court)
Alleged ‘Vegas Swindler’ Sara King with, from left: Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen (US District Court)

Mr Pahlavi said he made the introduction between Ms King and LDR, which is operated by a friend of his.

When he became aware that her business was alleged to be a scam, he moved to Morocco to try to get away from Ms King.

‘She betrayed me. Lied to me. Stole from me’

In December, he filed for divorce in Los Angeles Superior Court, within a year of them getting married.

“It ended terribly,” he told The Daily Beast. “She betrayed me. Lied to me. Stole from me. Embarrassed me. Humiliated me. That’s not bad for a reason to break up.”

Mr Pahlavi told the outlet that she started sending aggressive texts after he ended the relationship.

“Just wait and see, your time is coming,” she said, according to the husband.

“When I realized what she had done, I left and never looked back,” he said.

A number of friends told the outlet that Ms King stole funds from them via the loan business when they loaned her money that she never paid back.

‘No remorse and no sympathy and no regard for anybody’

Amal Obaid-Schmid, a trauma surgeon who provided care for Ms King’s father, said she stole her family’s savings.

“She’s heartless,” she told The Daily Beast. “She has no remorse and no sympathy and no regard for anybody.”

Sara King, 39, has been accused of swindling more than $10m to find a lavish Las Vegas stay (US District Court)
Sara King, 39, has been accused of swindling more than $10m to find a lavish Las Vegas stay (US District Court)

The people Ms King allegedly stole cash from say she made baseless excuses when confronted.

Mr Pahlavi said that he and his friend found typos in bank statements and other files she had provided.

The LDR suit states that she sent over “fraudulent and falsified bank statements where she altered the bank statements to show deposits/ payments by third-party borrowers that were in fact never made”.

“And that’s where everything started to come out,” the husband told the outlet. “It was a huge shock. Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine that as a lawyer she would forge documents of such importance.”

“I realized that this whole time she was lying to me,” he added. “Using me. Using my name. She would tell about it to everyone.”

Claimed to be Vegas ‘slot machine whisperer’

“She would always be so happy and positive,” Mr Pahlavi said. “Saying she is the slot machine whisperer and that she cracked the code of these machines. She even had her ‘strategy’ written on a piece of paper. How can you keep a ‘poker face’ when you are losing so much money, especially money that is not yours and lying to the whole world about it?”

Ms King was also sued over her business, King Family Lending, by George Paoulos who said he invested $125,000. Mr Poulos said in court filings that instead of repayments, he “began to receive strange messages, including some threats to discontinue any pursuit of litigation and/or recovery of money from King or her businesses”.

“I learned that King and her businesses were and are indebted to many others, not just me, and that she had, using similar tactics and schemes, obtained loans under the guise of ‘investing’ through KFL LLC,” he wrote in a court declaration.

Rolls-Royce impounded by California Highway Patrol

A financial company leasing expensive cars sued Ms King and her law firm in September, arguing that they were owed $300,000 in relation to her leasing a 2019 Rolls-Royce Dawn.

It was impounded by the California Highway Patrol in 2021, the legal filing says.

Ms King’s first ex-husband claimed in an April suit that she forged his signature to get a $250,000 loan secured by their home, leading to a notice of default being lodged “as a result of the fraudulent loan remaining unpaid”.

Family court documents show that in December 2020, as the divorce was being processed, she sent a number of threats via text, including “racist” messages.

“If the whore is in my house Shw [sic] better hide. She’s next on my list,” she allegedly wrote regarding the ex’s new partner.

“You left me stranded. You left me with nothing,” she said in another message. “I don’t have anything and if you want to bring this lawsuits [sic] it’ll be war for years.”

She married Mr Pahlavi two months after the December 2021 divorce was finalized.

After the relationship with Mr Pahlavi ended, Ms King would travel to Las Vegas more often, because it “is really the best place to find people willing to pay 10 percent a month in interest for a short-term loan,” Mr Pahlavi told The Daily Beast.

“To tell you the truth it kills me to do this, but she is sick and she needs to be stopped before she scams the wrong person and she gets in real trouble,” he said.