Ketan Shah, a businessman described as “squeaky-clean” by one of his victims, apparently left his Gwinnett County town after staging the months-long scam, which involved taking large sums of money from roughly a dozen people while promising tickets to the upcoming game between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams.
“I really don’t know where ehe is now,” Mr Sha’s wife, Bhavi, told local news channel WSBTV2 in Atlanta. “I really don’t, I’m sorry”.
Among those who found themselves allegedly falling victim to Mr Shah was his own mother, who reached out to police after losing $36,000 in her son’s scam, but did not file charges.
Mr Shah reportedly sits on community boards in his area, and owns a digital printing business there.
The victim who called Mr Shah’s reputation “squeaky-clean”, said that he and a friend had deposited $20,000 with the businessman. They never received those tickets.
Yet another victim reportedly lost $500,000 in the exchange, and also indicated that he had trusted Mr Shah because of his reputation in the community.
Police expressed shock that Mr Shah had engaged in the scam that left people in the lurch.
“It’s not that he posted some ad and random people are contacting this guy for tickets and being scammed,” Gwinnett County police spokesman Corporal Wilbert Rundles told WSBTV. “He’s known these people for many years. One of them, he’s known his whole life because it’s his own mother, and he’s taken advantage of them.”