- Convicts Maria Moore conspired with Marvel Salvant to kill Dominick Sarkar in 2018 to collect $800,000 in life insurance benefits.
A woman and her accomplice have been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing an Indian American man as part of a murder-for-hire plot for financial gain. Maria Moore conspired with Marvel Salvant to kill popular Indian American chef Dominick Sarkar in California’s Bay area in 2018 to collect $800,000 in life insurance benefits.
Moore had a relationship with Sarkar, 56, who was shot to death at night while he was asleep in his rented house in Fremont, where he lived with other residents. Sarkar, who was the executive chef at Rangoli in Fremont at the time of his death, was to leave for India the next day for a month-long trip.
“Despite arguments from Salvant’s lawyer that another man was responsible for the killing,” a jury in February convicted Salvant and Moore, The Mercury News reported. They were charged with first-degree murder with special circumstances in Sarkar’s killing. Salvant also received an additional, concurrent sentence of 25 years to life for his use of a firearm in the killing, The Mercury News report said.
During the trial earlier this year, the court heard that Sarkar and Moore had purchased a $500,000 life insurance policy in April 2016. Sarkar’s three daughters in India were also listed as beneficiaries. In September 2016, the policy was altered by Moore, eliminating the daughters as contingent beneficiaries.
A year later, Sarkar added a $300,000 policy and again listed his daughters as contingent beneficiaries. A police investigator found the policy was later modified to add Moore as the primary beneficiary and remove Sarkar’s daughters, according to a press release from Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. The DA’s office said Moore wired $500 to Salvant less than a month before the murder.
Citing investigations, the press release noted that an analysis of cell phone records and surveillance video found that Salvant had been casing Sarkar’s home days before the murder. On the night of the murder, prosecutors said Salvant sent a text message to Moore stating “It’s a waiting game” and another that said: “I am set to do everything tonight.”