Everybody’s heard of the midlife crisis. Heck, you can get a one-way ticket to somewhere exotic, drink Spicy Apple Margaritas for two weeks, and start having one right now. A prominent business man living near Atlanta, Georgia is apparently in the midst of a big one because nobody’s seen or heard from him since early January, and he owes a lot of people money.
According to records obtained by Channel 2 Action News in Gwinnett County, Georgia, Ketan Shah offered about a dozen people the opportunity to buy tickets to Super Bowl LIII through him. After multiple deposits, Shah obtained nearly $1 million for tickets in low-level seats with concierge lounge access, plus invites to parties prior to the Super Bowl. Shah disappeared earlier this year, and those tickets still haven’t come.
After promising Super Bowl tickets to people who were considered close friends, Shah never delivered on the deal. One of those alleged victims, Alan Tartt, said that with Shah’s “squeaky-clean” reputation around town, nothing seemed strange about the transaction. Tartt paid him $20,000 for a set of tickets that never arrived, then reported the theft to Sandy Springs police. Police records show that one person even gave Shah $500,000 for some tickets and the promise of actually hosting a Super Bowl event inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Shah’s worst victim was his own mother, who lost $36,000 to her own son but will not press charges in this unbelievably large Super Bowl ticket scam.
“It’s not that he posted some ad and random people are contacting this guy for tickets and being scammed. He’s known these people for many years. One of them, he’s known his whole life because it’s his own mother, and he’s taken advantage of them.”
— Cpl. Wilbert Rundles, Gwinnett County police spokesperson
Apparently though, that still wasn’t enough for a trip to Las Vegas, where family members believe Shah fled to at some point during his midlife crisis.
WSBTV reporter Nicole Carr spoke with the man’s wife, Bhavi Shah, at the digital printing shop they own together. Shah said she had no knowledge of the scam and after “roaming all over the town,” her husband left Norcross, Georgia altogether. Police records found that Shah, unknown to his wife, received another $500,000 in a loan against their business as well before high-tailing it west.
After the criminal allegations came to light, the Georgia Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, for which Shah is a Board of Directors member, released this statement:
“The Executive Committee of the Georgia Indo American Chamber of Commerce has suspended Board of Director member Ketan Shah due to certain recent criminal allegations made against him. GIACC and its officers and directors have no connection to the personal actions taken by Mr. Shah and the Board remains committed to the mission of the organization.”
It’s still unclear if those tickets are actually coming or not. Police believe there’s a possibility that Shah is in some kind of financial trouble because stealing this amount of money and running way is, obviously, beyond weird. Then again, Ketan Shah might be off living his best life to put the worries of the everyday grind behind him.
The New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams will definitely be in Atlanta for the Big Game, but about a dozen locals in Georgia will be on the outside looking in on Feb. 3. Ketan Shah, well, maybe he’ll make it to the game after all.