The assistant to the high-flying LA Attorney accused of scamming $10.2 million from an investor and blowing it at a Las Vegas hotel in six months claims she lived a phony, wealthy lifestyle worthy of a ‘con-woman.’
Marie Casillas Berger, 32 is speaking out after her former boss, Sara Jacqueline King, 39, allegedly blew through the money at the Wynn in Las Vegas and used the money to fund her own ‘extravagant lifestyle’.
She is being sued by LDR International but claims that she only has $11.98 to her name after partying her way through the money at the $300-a-night-hotel.
A lawsuit filed at the California Central District court accused her of breaching her contract, fraud and civil theft and included several pictures of her with NFL stars such as Aaron Rodger, Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes.
Berger, who started working for King in 2020, called the entire experience ‘a mindf**k.’
Marie Casillas Berger (pictured right), 32 is speaking out after her former boss, Sara Jacqueline King (pictured left), 39, allegedly blew through the money at the Wynn in Las Vegas and used the money to fund her own ‘extravagant lifestyle’.
The former staffer alleges King stole $5,000 from her during a ‘work trip’ to Las Vegas before abandoning Berger and ‘ghosting’ her when she got back to California.
She adds that King used her credit card to buy $3,000 plane tickets, first class to Hawaii and never repaid her.
‘I personally think that when it came down to it, she saw something she could take advantage of and that was my heart and my soul,’ Berger said.
Berger said that she would regularly be ordered by King to use her personal card for company expenses.
‘She has no empathy for anybody,’ Berger added. ‘She doesn’t care who she hurts or what happens in the process, as long as she has her Saint Laurent clothing and her money to gamble.’
A makeup artist by trade, King was a frequent customer ‘who paid in stacks of cash’ at the salon where Berger worked, according to The Daily Beast.
One day, late in 2020, she told Berger that she wanted to speak to her about something at the glamorous Balboa Bay Club.
Berger – who says she and King met each other’s families – claims that King told her she’d been ‘testing’ her for six months to see if she was the kind of person she wanted to hire as an executive assistant.
Sara King, 39, is being sued by British Virgin Islands-based lender LDR International for the full amount, allegedly spent during a six-month gambling binge at the Las Vegas hotel
Berger, who started working for King in 2020, called the entire experience ‘a mindf**k’
Berger said that she would regularly be ordered by King to use her personal card for company expenses
The ordeal led to Berger living with King for two and a half months, private planes to Las Vegas and meetings with people King claimed were movers and shakers.
‘I just thought I was working for a crazy rich lawyer,’ Berger said, but eventually, ‘I started getting really uneasy, like there was something really.’
She noticed that King would go missing in the middle of the night – turning off her phone so no one could reach her – and not sleep for days on end.
Eventually, in September 2021, King’s Rolls-Royce was impounded in front of Berger. It was one of several Rolls-Royces that she claimed to own, in addition to a number of Bentleys.
Other times, they would travel to Vegas and stay in fancy suites at various hotels on the strip after taking weekly chartered flights to a private airport.
Friends of King’s claims she had political ambitions as well, posing for photos with the likes of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, former Vice President Mike Pence and Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. King donated $29,000 to Republican candidates in 2017 alone.
A makeup artist by trade, King was a frequent customer ‘who paid in stacks of cash’ at the salon where Berger worked
Friends of King’s claims she had political ambitions as well, posing for photos with the likes of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, former Vice President Mike Pence and Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul
She was able to gain access by making her way into the Gen Next Foundation, a conservative non-profit in Orange County.
King was eventually blacklisted by Manna Kadar, a member who claims King fraudulently induced $62,000 in loans from her.
‘I have never come across someone like this,’ Kadar said. ‘And I am just shocked that it’s got to this level. Who knows how many more victims are out there.’
The attorney tried to launch a defense in an email to women involved with Next Gen: ‘I know how optics on me look right now—but things are not as they seem to be. I have never done anyone wrong, intentionally, and I’m horrified at what people think about me and what has been said and/or construed.’
‘She’s dangerous in the sense that she’s able to say whatever she wants, and people are, for the most part, going to believe it because of her charisma,’ Berger said.
Former friends of the lawyer have come forward to say that she swindled them out of thousands after convincing them she had high-profile connections
A lawsuit filed at the California Central District court accused her of breaching her contract, fraud and civil theft – as well as several pictures of her with NFL stars such as Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes
Former friends of the lawyer have come forward to say that she swindled them out of thousands after convincing them she had high-profile connections.
Amal Obaid-Schmid, a trauma surgeon in California, said that King is ‘heartless’ and has ‘no remorse and no sympathy and no regard for anybody.’
King was thrown a 39th birthday party by Obaid-Schmid at a luxury suite at the hotel, which had caviar, cupcakes with Dior’s logo on and a cake shaped like a Chanel handbag.
The doctor claims that she and her husband Steffen invested $410,000 in King’s scheme promising high returns for funding third-party loans but were never repaid.
She told the Daily Beast: ‘We really just want her to stop victimizing people.’
Another pal, Yumi Sturdivant said that she handed King $10,000 after they reconnected, adding: ‘She needs to be stopped. She’s not stealing only from the rich’.
Obaid-Schmid claims that King was a ‘big high roller in Vegas’ and that she and her husband were in ‘awe’ of the lawyer.
They met her at the Wynn in February 2022, before becoming friends and spending time with King and her husband at their home Los Angeles.
Lawyers for the lending company – which used to employ the LA lawyer as an agent – say that King recently told them she has no money. A photo included in the suit shows King’s allegedly emptied bank accounts
She added: ‘She was a big high roller in Vegas. She would stay in this villa—I’ve never ever seen anything like it in my life.
‘Extravagant is an understatement. She hired a DJ who played in her villa and a magician.’
But the couple were left out of pocket, in similar circumstances to those detailed in the court documents for the charges brought against King.
British Virgin Island firm LDR claims that they extended a series of loans to King Family lending from January to October 2022 as part of a business investment.
She promised to use the funds for loads to third-party borrowers and was handed $10.2million in 97 loans.
King claimed that they were secured by collateral, including luxury cars, yachts, designer handbags, jewelry, watches and earnings from professional sports contracts.
The facade of the Wynn is seen on the Las Vegas strip. Lawyers say it was there that the LA lawyer took up residency for several months while carrying out the alleged fraud
The suit shows photos of the lawyer with several NFL stars , which they claim were used to help boost her profile.
It alleged that she ‘engaged in a massive fraud’ and there were ‘no third-party loans from King Lending to and third party borrowers’.
Her ex-husband Kamran Pahlavi has ‘substantiated’ the accusations and ‘fled to Morocco’, with King accused of gambling 24/7 while staying in the hotel.
Pahlavi filed for divorce from King in late December, citing irreconcilable differences, with the couple separating after just nine months together, according to court records.
He told the Daily Beast that he introduced her to LDR, because he wanted to help grow her business.
The hotel developer said: ‘Everyone she met instantly fell in love with her. She had this kind of personality.’
‘Everything seemed just perfect, we were meeting great people every day and we had a wonderful lifestyle at the Wynn.’
Another pal, Yumi Sturdivant said that she handed King $10,000 after they reconnected and was conned by her
Her ex-husband Kamran Pahlavi has ‘substantiated’ the accusations and ‘fled to Morocco’, with King accused of gambling 24/7 while staying in the hotel
But when he realized that the bank logon on one of the statements he was handed by King was missing, he spotted several other errors.
He added: ‘My whole life crumbled. I never had any idea she was doing all this.’
The lawsuit claims that King presented them with ‘with fraudulent, falsified, and altered King Lending bank statements’ and that ‘she altered the bank statements to show deposits/payments by third-party borrowers that were in fact never made.’
It also claims that she sent photos to LDR and their agent Laurent R in order to gain their ‘trust and confidence.’
She sent them a picture of herself with the NFL players at a Capital One golf tournament at the Wynn Golf club in 2022.
King is now claiming that she has no money and has a paltry $11.98 in her bank account which is demonstrated by a screenshot.
The suit claims that as of February 9th King was still asking for more money so she could ‘try and make back the money she has stolen’.
She also said that she had borrowers who were in the NHL, NBA and MLB as well as a friend who was a ‘hair extension person’ for the Kardashians.
The lawsuit claims King also ‘falsely represented’ that King Lending received $6.3 million in loan repayments from borrowers and ‘redeployed’ the fund to cover more loans.