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Slain Bay Area investor accused of bad business deals

Published: Tuesday, January 1, 2013 at 10:48 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 1, 2013 at 10:48 a.m.

MONTE SERENO — A Silicon Valley venture capitalist killed in his mansion had been accused by former business associates of underhanded dealings and attempts to hide millions from creditors, court documents have revealed.

In the documents filed during his divorce proceedings, slaying victim Raveesh "Ravi" Kumra, former owner of the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, was accused by two former business associates as a troubled alcoholic who used a "sham divorce" to hide money from creditors, spent liberally on prostitutes and bought condominiums for mistresses, according to the San Jose Mercury News (http://bit.ly/UAvMkB ).

The lawsuit against Kumra was eventually dismissed, and in court records he denied his divorce was a sham.

Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police have arrested 22-year-old prostitute Raven Chanel Dixon; 21-year-olds Deangelo Austin and Javier Garcia and 26-year-old Lucas Anderson in connection with the slaying.

Kumra was found dead in his mansion on Nov. 30 after police said his ex-wife, Harinder Kumra, called 911 to report that intruders had ransacked their home and beaten her. Harinder was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

Police have released no other details, including a possible motive, and said they have not exhausted all investigative leads.

Still, court papers filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court in Kumra's 2006 divorce, painted a portrait of a turbulent, troubled man.

"Ravi has never treated anyone fairly in his life, except for his whores," said Stephen Kaffee, the former CEO of Kumra's venture firm Tesla Capital, in an email included among the documents.

Kaffee and another Tesla executive, Richard Rodriguez, intervened in the divorce case to recover money they said was owed to them.

The executives said Kumra had told them he was divorcing his wife "on paper only" and that a woman with whom he had fathered an illegitimate child was trying to shake him down for hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to the court documents.

At the time of his slaying the couple had been officially divorced for two years yet continued living together. Harinder owned the couple's house, the venture firm, car and a cellular company.

Kaffee and Rodriguez said in filed court papers that the divorce protected the assets from a pending lawsuit being filed by Kankakee Cellular of Illinois seeking to recover millions in money Kumra had taken as "management fees" without providing any services.

Instead, the business associates alleged, Kumra spent the money "to pay for escort services, prostitutes, purchasing condominiums for his female companions and other personal expenses," the newspaper reported.

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Information from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com

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