Indian businessman, wife slapped with more cases of fraud

Two separate cases lodged against Gaurav and his wife Sharon Srivastava in California for fraud, fraudulent misrepresentations

Indian businessman Gaurav Kumar Srivastava (right) and Sharon Srivastava. — Social media/File

LONDON/CALIFORNIA: Indian businessman Gaurav Kumar Srivastava who lied to Google de-index a story that exposed him as a conman and fraudster who abused the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) name to defraud a Dutch oil trader faces two separate lawsuits of fraud.

Last month, two respected former Wall Street Journal reporters and Pulitzer nominees — Bradley Hope and Tom Wright of Project Brazen Whalehunting — announced they would take legal action against Gaurav for lying to Google to discredit their story on how Gaurav posed as an operative of America’s main spy outfit, the CIA, to run an international scam on the Geneva-based Dutch oil trader Niels Troost.

Two separate cases have been lodged against Gaurav and his wife Sharon Srivastava in California for fraud and fraudulent misrepresentations, amongst other causes of action.

A complaint for multiple actions for damages pursuant to California law was filed with the Superior Court of the State of California, Los Angeles County, against Gaurav, Scott Davalos and Veecon Biotech company. The complaint has been filed by Jolie Slaton, who, through her entity “Medical Innovation Partners International”, entered into sales contracts, interacted, and transacted with the three Defendants.

More specifically, Gaurav claimed ownership of the intellectual property rights of a world-class medical device that would allow the detection of various diseases, such as cancer, with saliva testing, akin to the infamous ‘Elizabeth Holmes’ Theranos testing device.

Contrary to their fraudulent misrepresentations, the defendants did not hold the intellectual property rights to the medical device, and failed to hold any license to sell and distribute the technology. Moreover, the defendants had no partnership or business relationship with the developer of these medical technologies, as they had falsely represented.

The five causes of action detailed within the complaint against the defendants consist of breach of contract, intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, promise without intent to perform and fraud.

In another case, both Guarav and Sharon have been sued by an award-winning designer at the Superior Court of California for the breach of contract, abuse of process and theft by deception in a high-profile case.

The lawsuit at Los Angeles County, California has been brought by Meredith Kleinman through her lawyers at Tesser Grossman law firm against the couple who have been involved in several controversies including allegations of fraud and deception.

Meredith Kleinman, who has worked on a wide range of residential projects including celebrity homes, has claimed in the lawsuit that she became acquainted with Sharon and Gaurav in January 2023 when they met at Srivastavas’ home located at 14180 Rustic Lane in Pacific Palisades.

According to the claim, Sharon Gaurav explained to Kleinman that Sharon wanted Kleinman to provide the interior design for the Property but to allow Sharon to take full credit for the design, in furtherance of Sharon’s desire to become an interior designer.

Gaurav also requested that Kleinman purchase household items totalling approximately $279,359, resulting in a markup of approximately $55,872. Kleinman also incurred approximately $50,081 in taxes and shipping for the household items she purchased at Defendants’ request, according to the claim, according to the Claim.

The contract also included for Kleinman to attend job site meetings, discussing Sharon’s specific requests for each room being designed by Kleinman; drawing room and furniture layouts, and elevations when needed; monitoring construction; and responding to Sharon’s multiple daily texts and requests.

Kleinman says in her claim that Sharon and Gaurav breached the contract by, among other things, failing and refusing to pay: (a) her earned design fees; (b) her earned markups; and (c) reimbursement for purchases made at Srivastavas’ request and that as a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ conduct, Kleinman has suffered damages in the approximate amount of $111,329.

Bradley Hope Tom Wright had revealed how Gaurav used a creative lie to complain to Google that the award-winning investigative journalism site had stolen the contents of a story on Gaurav from another blog site. By using Google’s copyright policy to his advantage, Gaurav used a fraudulent technique to get the story on himself de-indexed, according to the journalists.

This involved pasting the article’s text into a blog post on hosting sites Tumblr or Medium and then back-dating the posts, making them appear to have been published earlier than the Project Brazen article. Gaurav then used aliases or fake names to file a copyright complaint to Google to de-index the articles.

The investigative journalism site said: “We’re going to contest this fraudulent takedown request to make sure our story appears on search engines again.”

According to the Project Brazen investigation, Niels Troost was introduced in the summer of 2022 by a mutual contact to Gaurav, who pretended to be very well connected with the Washington power circles and also to the country’s main spy agency – the CIA.

At that time, the oil trader was in a state of growing panic as someone purporting to be a US government informant had falsely led him to believe that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was investigating him and his commodities-trading company headquartered in Switzerland, Paramount Energy & Commodities SA.

Troost asked Gaurav for help. Gaurav assured him that he would deal with the FBI and led Troost to believe he was a “non-official cover” or NOC (pronounced “knock”) for the CIA, operating at the senior level amongst a total of 30 NOCs around the world. Gaurav put forth a dubious proposition: if Troost could make Gaurav a partner in the business, by moving 50% of the shares of Paramount to a Delaware-incorporated company controlled by Gaurav, and domicile Paramount into the US, Troost would then be safe as part of a state-approved network to collect intelligence on behalf of the US. Gaurav stipulated that the transfer must take place through the US law firm BakerHostetler.

According to legal papers, it was in April 2023 that Troost hired investigators to perform due diligence on Gaurav and discovered a chilling history of fraud suits and unpaid bills over several years.

Seeing the intelligence reports of Gaurav’s alleged fraud, Troost realized that Gaurav had no connections with the CIA and that he was only a huckster who cobbled together false stories to feign an air of importance, exclusivity, and impunity. Gaurav’s fraudulent scheme broke down on May 10, 2023, and is now subject to legal action.

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