‘Ailing’ con man jumps $1M bail, hits road

Courtesy PhotoAuthorities believe Jay Shah never checked into a private care facility after supposedly being transferred from a hospital.

A high-rolling con artist who faces 35 years in prison for a San Francisco real estate scam is now a fugitive, prosecutors said, after he posted a $1 million bail and then apparently disappeared before the guilty verdict in the case was handed down Wednesday.

Jay Shah, 48, the former owner of a telecommunications company in Silicon Valley, was reportedly ill and had been transferred from a hospital to a private care facility. While authorities confirmed that Shah had been at a hospital, they believe he never enrolled at a private care facility.

Shah and 48-year-old Winston Lum were convicted in connection with a high-profile scam at the posh One Rincon Hill condominium tower. The pair, along with three others, were charged with conspiring to fraudulently transfer a woman’s three condos, illegally obtain a $2.2 million loan on the properties and launder the money through shell companies.

Lum did attend the reading of the verdicts Wednesday.  

Shah had equity from his properties to post the $1 million bail, Assistant District Attorney Alex Bastian said Thursday.

Another person charged in the scam, Grachelle Languban, is a fugitive believed to have fled to the Philippines.

Also charged in the case is Kaushal Niroula, the 31-year-old Nepalese national who is famously known as the “Dark Prince.” He is in custody in Riverside County after being found guilty for the 2008 murder of a Palm Springs retiree.

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