GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - A Gwinnett County man wanted in $1 million Super Bowl scam has been arrested after a casino worker in California recognized him and helped lead to his arrest.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr broke the story last week about the Gwinnett County businessman, which quickly went viral and spread across the country after agencies like ABC News, Newsweek, Inside Edition and more picked it up.
Police announced Wednesday that Ketan Shah was arrested Tuesday at the Pechanga Casino and Resort in Temecula, California.
The tourist attraction is the West Coast’s largest resort-casino. It’s also where an alert worker spotted Shah and alerted authorities.
“This guy comes in with his girlfriend and, from the off-set, he just seems like a bit different from the usual guest we have come in from this spa,” said David Halliday, a concierge at the casino.
A 19-year-old recognized Shah from the extensive media coverage and confirmed who he thought it was in a Google search.
“I saw his name and his name just stuck out to me for some reason. It was just in the back of my head,” Halliday said.
“It was a perfect shining example of doing the right thing and reporting,” said Robert Krauss, vice president of public safety at the Pechanga Resort Casino.
That coverage stemmed from Carr’s story last week when she was contacted by metro Atlanta’s who say they paid Shah tens of thousands of dollars up front only for him to disappear without delivering their premium Super Bowl seats and business opportunities.
“It’s just crazy, mind-blowing,” victim Alan Tart said.
Gwinnett County police said they were able to track Shah’s bank activity from Miami to Alabama, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Las Vegas and finally to Riverside County, California and the Pechanga Casino where the employee called police.
“Obviously, he’s showing a lot of movement. We don't want any kind of flight risk,” Cpl. Wilbert Rundles with the Gwinnett County Police Department said.
Carr found Shah’s wife, Bhavi, days before the Super Bowl after learning she’d reported him missing in early January.
“I’m not ready to have this conversation. I’m sorry,” Bhavi Shah said when Carr asked her for comment.
Court records showed she called an emergency meeting three weeks ago to have him removed as president from their Norcross digital printing business after he took out an unauthorized $500,000 loan against the business.
Then she pulled out a financial restraining order against Shah and his bank to make sure he couldn’t spend the money.
Carr also learned Shah’s wife filed for divorce just weeks ago.
Gwinnett police say it make take weeks to have Shah extradited back to Georgia.
Anyone who may have more information about this case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.
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