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Lawyer lived large, ‘gambled 24/7’ in Vegas with $10M of clients’ money, suit says

Updated February 17, 2023 - 9:12 am

A British Virgin Islands-based lender accused a California lawyer of using $10.2 million meant for clients of her own lending business to support her gambling and “extravagant lifestyle” in Las Vegas.

The lawsuit, filed Saturday in the California Central District Court, alleges that Sara Jacqueline King used LDR International Ltd. loans purportedly meant for a third party beginning in January 2022.

Lawyers for LDR International claim the money largely supported her gambling in Las Vegas, where the lawsuit alleges she moved into the Wynn Las Vegas for six months and “gambled 24/7.”

Plaintiff attorney Ronald Richards said King’s husband — who has left the country, according to the lawsuit — is cooperating with them and provided gaming records of their time at the resort.

Richards said that King has been in contact with promises to pay the client back, but that a cooperating witness spotted King gambling at a Strip casino on Thursday.

“We’re hopeful that no other casinos on the Strip let this woman gamble there with other people’s money,” he said. “It seems there’s not a centralized database.”

King runs King Family Lending, a lending service that said it provides short-term loans secured by a loan recipient’s assets — often luxury items such as designer handbags, jewelry, an Avengers comic book and a Tiara F44 yacht, according to the lawsuit.

Additionally, the lawsuit said, several of the 97 loans were supposed to be backed by guaranteed contracts of professional athletes in leagues such as the MLB, NHL and MLS.

King allegedly sent photographs of herself to bolster the lender’s confidence in her connections, including a photo of her posing with NFL stars Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen at what appears to be The Match, a charity golf event held at Wynn Golf Club last summer.

LDR International would loan King Family Lending funds to support the third-party loans. Promissory notes for the loans were payable to King’s LLC, and all noted they were for third-party loans with specific collateral, according to the lawsuit. The lenders allege documents about the collateral, such as title documents, appraisals, photographs and contracts were also falsified.

King would provide the lenders with proof of funding documents, most often cashier’s checks, with the third-party borrower’s name redacted.

“Because the payee name was redacted, Plaintiff could never verify that the funds were actually loaned to the third-party borrower,” according to the lawsuit.

King and her company didn’t pay LDR International all principal and interest when the loans reached maturity, the lawsuit said. Instead, she said that $6.3 million received in loan repayments had been “redeployed” to fund additional third-party loans. That resulted in more loans funded to King Family Lending.

King, a California lawyer, was a licensed finance lender based in Newport Beach, state records show. Her finance lending license became inactive in April 2022, three months after her relationship with the lender began. The last loan it funded, according to the complaint, was in October and matured Sunday.

King did not respond to emailed requests for comment. King Family Lending’s business address is a co-working space in Newport Beach, and a receptionist said Thursday they were unaware of a business currently operating there under that name.

King “recently” provided evidence that she only has about $12 to her name, according to the lawsuit. It alleges breach of contract, fraud and civil theft.

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on Twitter.

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