Verdicts in for three men in SF real estate fraud case


A jury found telecommunications executive Jay Shah guilty of all 13 felony counts of conspiring to steal three exclusive condos from under the nose of real estate executive Shirley Hwang.

Prosecutors said Shah forged real estate documents to transfer properties at one Rincon Hill to a shell corporation and then took out loans on the property. Shah's attorney had no comment. Jurors simply said Shah's testimony wasn't believable.

"It just seemed like things were questionable that his demeanor on the stand, it didn't convince us that he was telling the truth in a lot of cases," said Jury foreman Michael Carmody.

There were two other defendants in this case. Attorney and real estate broker Melvin Emerich was cleared of filing false deeds. Tennis instructor Winston Lum was found guilty of six counts including forgery, filing false deeds, grand theft and attempted grand theft, but not guilty of filing false documents. For Hwang, it's the end of a three year epic battle to reclaim her properties.

"The verdict speaks for itself and justice prevailed and I can move on with my life," said Hwang.

The jury failed to reach a verdict on three counts of money laundering against Lum and Emerich. Meanwhile, the accused mastermind in this case may never be tried because earlier this month he was found guilty of murder in Palm Springs.

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