Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Kaushal Niroula and The Gay Grifters

Introduction

Kaushal Niroula
Kaushal Niroula
A gang of gay grifters has been accused of bilking victims in California, Las Vegas and Hawaii for years, but the latest scam allegedly perpetrated by the deviously charming Kaushal Niroula and his friends, lovers and hangers-on might put the boys away for good. Niroula, 26, man-about-town Daniel Garcia, 27, attorney David Replogle, 60, art dealer Russell Manning, 67, bartender Miguel Bustamante, 26, and bartender and former Marine Craig McCarthy are jointly or individually suspected of a range of frauds and other crimes:

  • San Francisco stockbroker Thomas White has alleged that Replogle and Garcia concocted a fraudulent lawsuit which they settled for $7 million for his alleged sexual assault of young Mexican boys.
  • Niroula, posing as a Nepalese prince, contributed to the collapse of the New College of California by persuading its president, Martin Hamilton to grant him course credits in exchange for the promise of a million-dollar donation which never materialized.
  • Japanese tourist Megumi Hisamatsu claims that Niroula embezzled half a million dollars from her after convincing her to go in on a Hawaiian real estate deal.
  • Silicon Valley executive Gary Heidenreich says Niroula and Manning tricked him into paying a $400,000 deposit to buy a surrealist painting that was never for sale in the first place.
  • Stephen and Ina Mae Valentino contend that Niroula stole $300,000 in jewelry from the Marin County home to which they'd welcomed him.
  • Slot-machine executive Tyson Wrensch says Garcia stole his money and identity when he let him house-sit his Las Vegas home.

Now, five of them face trial for charges related to the 2008 murder of Clifford Lambert in Palm Springs. Supposedly, the two cherubic, baby-faced leaders, Garcia and Niroula, enlisted two younger men as muscle and two older men as advisors in a plot to defraud a lonely retiree of his worldly possessions.

 

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