Posted on: March 30, 2023, 04:58h.
Last updated on: March 30, 2023, 04:58h.
Sara King, the L.A. lawyer accused of living large in Las Vegas with $10 million of her clients’ cash, now claims she was put up to it by her soon-to-be ex-husband, a great-nephew of the last Shah of Iran.
Meanwhile, her husband, Kamran Pahlavi, has described her to The Daily Beast as the “female Madoff.” He says he moved to Morocco to get away from her and has filed for divorce.
Pahlavi is the grandson of Iran’s Princess Ashraf, who was the twin sister of the Shah.
King was sued last month by LDR International, an investor in her business, King Family Lending LLC (KFL). In the lawsuit, lawyers for LDR claimed King had blown the firm’s $10.2 million investment by moving “into the Wynn Las Vegas resort and hotel, liv[ing] there for six months, and gambl[ing] 24/7.”
Investment Plowed into Slots
KFL was essentially a high-end digital pawn shop. Customers could receive quick cash for collateral like jewelry, luxury cars, and other high-ticket items at a higher rate than the regular loans.
LDR’s investment was ostensibly to be used to fund third-party loans, according to the lawsuit. But the complaint alleges King mainly spent the money playing high-stakes slot machines. This got her a comped VIP suite at the Wynn of the kind only offered to customers who gamble more than $300K in one day.
LDR has referred its case to the FBI. Meanwhile, King is currently under investigation by the California Bar for misconduct, and her business license to lend money has been revoked.
But in court papers filed Tuesday, King claims Pahlavi “forced” her to gamble so they could repay LDR.
Pahlavi initially introduced King to his friend Laurent Reiss, the Swiss banker who heads LDR. And Pahlavi wanted to save face when an unnamed person stole the couples’ collateral, according to King’s court filing.
“Vahid was well aware that King could win at slot machines and persuaded King to try and win the money lost in the defaulted deals,” the complaint says. “King was in love with Vahid and was worried he would leave her if she did not cooperate. King cooperated with Vahid, and began playing slot machines.”
‘Unbeatable Slots Strategy’
Pahlavi has said King called herself “the slots whisperer” and claimed to have an “unbeatable strategy.” This, despite there being no way to gain a strategic advantage in traditional slots. In fact, the games are designed, by law, to give everybody exactly the same chance of winning.
How can someone force someone else to gamble?” Pahlavi asked The Daily Beast when confronted with King’s allegations. “She was an addict. You couldn’t get her off these machines. What kind of a person would push his wife to gamble with his best friend’s money? How does that make any sense?”
Pahlavi told The Beast he had no reason to believe there was anything wrong with KLF’s accounts until he and Reiss started spotting typos in bank statements and documents she shared with them.