When Kamran Pahlavi met his future wife and accused con artist Sara King, she was a California attorney who drove a Rolls-Royce, shared dreams of running for Congress as a Republican, and billed herself as a rising legal star.
“She already had a lavish lifestyle and was probably the best-dressed woman I had ever met,” Pahlavi told The Daily Beast. “Her sister was a lawyer, her brother-in-law was a lawyer. Her parents were very successful in the insurance business and very well-educated people.”
“She was married at the time so I didn’t really see her as someone I could potentially date,” Pahlavi said of King, whom he met in 2018 at a business function. But soon after she filed for divorce from her first husband, King and Pahlavi became inseparable.
“We were very much in love,” said Pahlavi, who is the grandson of Iran’s Princess Ashraf, the late twin sister of the country’s last shah. “She was a beautiful, smart, classy, charismatic and fun lady, and I was literally heads over heels about her.”
Now Pahlavi says he’s left untangling the strands of a web of deceit—one that allegedly involved King swindling millions from his friend’s company and hundreds of thousands of dollars from former pals and business associates over the past few years.
This month, a British Virgin Islands company filed a lawsuit against King, accusing her of conning them out of $10 million and gambling it away in Vegas. As The Daily Beast revealed, the 39-year-old lawyer lived the high life at the Wynn, filled with sports cars and designer clothes and jewelry, and a Chanel handbag-shaped birthday cake.
King has not returned messages left by The Daily Beast. A spokesperson for the Wynn said, “King is no longer permitted on-property at Wynn Las Vegas.”
Records show she is also facing multiple other suits over unpaid debts but doesn’t appear to have responded to them. The court dockets don’t list an attorney for the alleged gambler.
In its complaint, LDR International Limited says it invested in King’s short-term loan business, which promised high returns for funding third-party borrowers. King allegedly claimed these loans were secured by high-end collateral: luxury cars, jewelry, watches, yachts, and guaranteed professional sports contracts from NFL, NHL, MLB, and NBA players.
To gain LDR’s trust, the lawsuit claims, King shared photos that suggested she had ties to high-profile athletes. “They show the lavish lifestyle she was living, jewelry, cars, and image she was trying to portray,” the filing states. In one image, King is posing next to NFL quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, and Josh Allen.
Pahlavi said he introduced King to LDR, which is run by one of his pals, to help her grow her business. Once he realized her loan firm was an alleged sham, he cut ties with her and moved to Morocco, where he has friends and business interests, to get away from her.
Court records show he filed for divorce in Los Angeles Superior Court in December, citing irreconcilable differences, after less than a year of marriage.
“It ended terribly,” Pahlavi said. “She betrayed me. Lied to me. Stole from me. Embarrassed me. Humiliated me. That’s not bad for a reason to break up.
Pahlavi said King began to send him hostile text messages after he broke up with her and started working with LDR to uncover what happened with the business. “Just wait and see, your time is coming,” one of the messages said, according to Pahlavi.
“When I realized what she had done, I left and never looked back,” he continued.
Several friends told The Daily Beast that King also siphoned money from them as part of the purported loan business. One couple, Amal and Steffen Obaid-Schmid, claim she stole $410,000 from them, and former friend Yumi Sturdivant alleges she took off with $10,000. The accusers say King promised high returns on the short-term loans but never repaid them.
Amal, a trauma surgeon who says she provided medical care for King’s father, never imagined the attorney would cheat her out of her family’s life savings. “She’s heartless,” Amal said. “She has no remorse and no sympathy and no regard for anybody.”
They say that when they confronted King for repayment, she made excuses. Among them, she blamed the Wynn for losing a cashier’s check and also claimed Pahlavi had stolen a bank check. “Which is absurd, as what can I do with a check that is under someone else’s name?” Pahlavi said.
From the outside looking in, the LDR partnership appeared to be a success. Pahlavi said “everything seemed perfect” and King was enjoying the life of a casino high-roller. “The Wynn gave her free villas, food, entertainment,” he said. “I would stay with her for a while but I would get so bored as I don’t enjoy gambling that I would go back to L.A.”
But Pahlavi says he and his friend eventually spotted typos in bank statements and documents she shared. In the lawsuit, King is accused of providing LDR with “fraudulent and falsified bank statements where she altered the bank statements to show deposits/ payments by third-party borrowers that were in fact never made.”
“And that’s where everything started to come out,” the estranged husband said. “It was a huge shock. Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine that as a lawyer she would forge documents of such importance.” (Public records show King is also a licensed attorney in Washington, D.C.)
“I realized that this whole time she was lying to me,” he continued. “Using me. Using my name. She would tell about it to everyone.”
The Obaid-Schmids—who became fast friends with King and Pahlavi after meeting them at the Wynn—said King had boasted of being married to a descendent of Iranian royalty.
Like Pahlavi, the couple was quickly taken with King, who spent time with them in Vegas and at their home outside of Los Angeles. They say King claimed to be friends with billionaires and own a $12 million yacht and cut an image of luxury fashion connoisseur.
“She would always be so happy and positive,” Pahlavi said. “Saying she is the slot machine whisperer and that she cracked the code of these machines. She even had her ‘strategy’ written on a piece of paper. How can you keep a ‘poker face’ when you are losing so much money, especially money that is not yours and lying to the whole world about it?”
LDR isn’t the only one to sue King over her purported loan business, King Family Lending. Last year, George Poulos filed a complaint against King and her company in Orange County, alleging he invested $125,000 and was never repaid. Instead, Poulos claims in court papers, he “began to receive strange messages, including some threats to discontinue any pursuit of litigation and/or recovery of money from King or her businesses.”
“I learned that King and her businesses were and are indebted to many others, not just me, and that she had, using similar tactics and schemes, obtained loans under the guise of ‘investing’ through KFL LLC,” Poulos claimed in a court declaration.
In September, a financial company that leases luxury cars sued King and her law firm, King Reuben, claiming the attorney owed them nearly $300,000 in connection to her lease of a 2019 Rolls-Royce Dawn. The filing states that the California Highway Patrol impounded the vehicle in 2021, when King was only 19 months into a 48-month lease. When the plaintiff inspected the car, they allegedly found an odometer tampering device which they say violates state and federal law and depreciated the value of the vehicle.
And last April, King’s first ex-husband filed a lawsuit that claimed she forged his signature on certain documents in order to secure a $250,000 loan secured by their Newport Beach home. As a result, the suit against the lender states, a notice of default was recorded against the $3 million property “as a result of the fraudulent loan remaining unpaid.”
Family court records show that in the midst of their divorce, in December 2020, the ex requested a domestic violence restraining order against King. The petition alleged King unleashed a swell of threatening and “racist” text messages, including one that targeted his new girlfriend. “If the whore is in my house Shw [sic] better hide. She’s next on my list.”
“You left me stranded. You left me with nothing,” King said in one text attached as an exhibit. “I don’t have anything and if you want to bring this lawsuits [sic] it’ll be war for years.” The lawyer claimed in another message that she didn’t have enough money for food.
According to the filing, King “lied to the security guard” of his gated community and once appeared outside her door “with an unknown male,” a moment captured in security footage.
King’s divorce was finalized in December 2021, and she married Pahlavi two months later.
Pahlavi says King was involved in the lending industry before they met and had a business partner in Orange County. She later decided to strike out on her own with King Family Lending, while also claiming to be negotiating sports player contracts with a good friend of hers.
After their marriage, Pahlavi says, King’s trips to Vegas became more routine and she tried to amass clients there, since Sin City “is really the best place to find people willing to pay 10 percent a month in interest for a short-term loan.”
“She was getting friendly with all the hosts and the high limit room employees so they would also help her find new clients,” Pahlavi added.
Pahlavi says King gambled at slot machines and returned home with piles of cash or grand prizes she won at tournaments. “She would continuously send me pictures of her jackpots and cash she would receive,” he said. “None of the employees from the high-limit room, not her host, with whom I thought I was close to, ever told me she was losing a dime. They said there were ups and downs but she was winning in total.”
The Daily Beast reviewed photos King allegedly sent Pahlavi which included bundles of hundred dollar bills next to her Wynn room keycard and slot machine wins topping $100,000. One image showed a giant car key with the words “$500,000 electric car giveaway” and “grand prize.” King’s name was written next to the word “winner.” Another photo showed an oversize check paid to King for $75,000 “in promotional chips” for a blackjack tournament.
King’s winning streaks would allegedly lead to shopping sprees at Dior, Chanel, and Rolex. On one occasion, Pahlavi claims, King brought him to a port to show off a boat she claimed she planned to buy with a business partner. “But I don’t think it ever happened as she never mentioned it again,” he said. “She had a lot of things going.”
In February 2022, the LDR lawsuit says, King told the company that a Tiara F44 yacht was collateral for one of the loans it had funded. (Meanwhile, one Orange County man is suing King, an associate of hers named John McCabe, and two others, claiming they persuaded him to spend $200,000 for a stake in a boat but never provided ownership.)
Pahlavi said he is speaking out to prevent anyone else from falling for King’s alleged scheme.
“To tell you the truth it kills me to do this, but she is sick and she needs to be stopped before she scams the wrong person and she gets in real trouble.”