Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento man used gold jewelry and property to hide funds after credit scam, feds say

A Sacramento man is heading to prison for bankruptcy fraud after he concealed more than $500,000 in cash advances, then used them toward the purchase of at least five residences in Sacramento, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday in a news release.

Defined in the news release as a “business man,” 46-year-old Shallya Kumar Sharma was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. to three years and 10 months in prison for the concealment.

Sharma must forfeit the five residences he bought using illicit funds, the news release says. He was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and more than $587,000 in restitution.

The five residences were worth nearly $1.5 million, the news release says, and Sharma was sustaining himself by using them as rental properties.

Court documents show that Sharma filed for bankruptcy in March 2010 with a checking account balance of $100 and debts exceeding $650,000. In fact, he had concealed recent income at the time, as well as the $500,000 he had taken via cash advance from 20 credit accounts, in what constituted a fraudulent scheme, the Department of Justice news release says.

Sharma had hidden the funds in real estate and “other investments in India, including $71,000 in gold jewelry,” the news release says. Following an investigation by the FBI, it was determined that Sharma had sent $585,000 in concealed assets back to the U.S. from India over the course of 47 wire transfers to accounts owned by himself or his ex-wife, with whom he still lives.

Publicly available court documents show that Sharma posted bail March 4, 2016, after being arrested.