Mill Valley real estate broker facing jail after admitting to embezzlement


Published: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at 9:21 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at 9:21 a.m.

SAN RAFAEL — A Marin County real estate broker is facing up to eight years in jail after admitting to swindling nearly $1.4 million from six people in a series of financial scams.

Marin County prosecutors say Kirtikumar Menon pleaded guilty to eight felony counts Monday, including embezzlement from elders, forgery and other charges

According to prosecutors, he swindled his victims through a series of complex real estate and financial deals handled by his Mill Valley-based Argentum Real Estate and Mortgage Inc.

While operating the business, Menon also worked as an auditor in the Marin County Auditor-Controller’s Office.

He was fired from the department shortly after his arrest in February. Officials say he had no access to county funds.

The 41-year-old Menon is due to be Sept. 23.
Fraud in real estate transactions is extraordinarily common because the transactions involve mountains of paper and a lot of mumbo-jumbo that ordinary people usually don’t understand. In fact, a lot of the people using that mumbo-jumbo don’t understand it either, they just rely upon their inability to make sense to convince you that they know what they are talking about and you do not.

If you suspect that you have been the victim of some kind of fraud relating to real property, a good place to start is the County Recorder where your property is located.

As an attorney, I find myself often doing detective work. I research the background of individuals involved in my cases. I check their criminal records, I look and see what property they own, and quite often I find irregularities.