SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A Sacramento man who owns dozens of properties while claiming to be destitute has been arrested on multiple charges of forgery and conspiracy.
Raghvendra “Raj” Singh, 56, was booked into the Sacramento County Jail Friday afternoon with bail set at a quarter-million dollars. Singh’s wife, Kiran Rawat, 57, faces similar charges and bail.
According to jail booking records, the couple will not be allowed to post bail unless they can prove the money comes from a legitimate source.
According to an 18-count complaint filed by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office, Singh and Rawat fraudulently deeded two properties they own to a fictitious person to avoid penalties imposed by the city of Elk Grove and Sacramento County and lied about serving legal papers in lawsuits they were involved in.
An affidavit filed in support of the complaint alleges a rental home owned by Rawat at 6136 Demonte Way in Elk Grove was the focus of a lawsuit filed by the city of Elk Grove in 2018 relating to drug activity and other public nuisances. A second property owned by Rawat at 3534 51st Ave. in Sacramento faced enforcement action by Sacramento County, according to the affidavit.
Two days before the trial in the Elk Grove case, Rawat deeded both properties to a person who doesn’t exist, according to the affidavit. Singh told an investigator a paralegal whose name he couldn’t recall recorded the two deeds on Jan. 17, 2019– but surveillance video from the county recorder’s office shows the person who recorded the documents was actually Raj Singh.
Additionally, the complaint alleges the couple filed multiple “proof of service” documents in various lawsuits when, in fact, the process server was non-existent.
Singh had previously been flagged by the California court system for filing frivolous lawsuits and is prohibited from filing new suits without prior judicial approval.
Singh has sued the Sacramento Police Department for towing his parked car on a city street; he’s sued city and county code enforcement officers for trying to make him repair dangerous properties — including a home where a woman died in a fire; and he’s sued environmental regulators who were trying to prevent toxic chemicals at a former dump site he owned from contaminating a nearby creek.
Taxpayers have not only been footing the bill for their local governments to defend themselves from Singh’s lawsuits, they’ve also been paying Singh’s court costs.
Documents filed in state and federal court show Singh routinely pleads poverty to obtain fee waivers, saving him at a minimum hundreds of dollars per case.
In a 2010 court fee waiver application, for example, Singh declared he owned nothing of value and that his total earnings for the previous 12 months was just $200 in disability payments.
But according to an IRS audit of Singh’s 2010 tax return, Singh’s modified adjusted gross income was $594,393, including $31,000 in Social Security disability benefits.
A search of property records revealed Singh received tax bills at his Fort Sutter branch post office box for 24 properties in Sacramento, Placer and El Dorado counties – all held in the name of his wife or various trusts.
In 2014, Singh was arrested in Sacramento on a Nevada felony warrant and charged with trafficking marijuana out of a motel he owned in Schurz, Nevada. The charges were later dismissed.