Assistant to the LA attorney accused of swindling $10.2M speaks out
‘There was something really wrong’: Assistant to LA attorney accused of swindling $10.2M to live large in Las Vegas reveals how ‘con-woman’ went days without sleeping and the moment her Rolls-Royce was impounded
The assistant to the high-flying LA Attorney accused of scamming $10.2 million from an investor and blowing it at a Las Vegas hotel in six months claims she lived a phony, wealthy lifestyle worthy of a ‘con-woman.’ Marie Casillas Berger (pictured right), 32 is speaking out after her former boss, Sara Jacqueline King (pictured left), 39, allegedly blew through the money at the Wynn in Las Vegas and used the money to fund her own ‘extravagant lifestyle.’
She is being sued by LDR International but claims that she only has $11.98 to her name after partying her way through the money at the $300-a-night-hotel. A lawsuit filed at the California Central District court accused her of breaching her contract, fraud and civil theft and included several pictures of her with NFL stars such as Aaron Rodger, Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes.
Berger, who started working for King (pictured) in 2020, called the entire experience ‘a mind[expletive].’ The former staffer alleges King stole $5,000 from her during a ‘work trip’ to Las Vegas before abandoning Berger and ‘ghosting’ her when she got back to California.
She adds that King used her credit card to buy $3,000 plane tickets, first class to Hawaii and never repaid her. ‘I personally think that when it came down to it, she saw something she could take advantage of and that was my heart and my soul,’ Berger (pictured) said. Berger said that she would regularly be ordered by King to use her personal card for company expenses.
‘She has no empathy for anybody,’ Berger (pictured) added. ‘She doesn’t care who she hurts or what happens in the process, as long as she has her Saint Laurent clothing and her money to gamble.’ A makeup artist by trade, King was a frequent customer ‘who paid in stacks of cash’ at the salon where Berger worked, according to The Daily Beast. One day, late in 2020, she told Berger that she wanted to speak to her about something at the glamorous Balboa Bay Club. Berger – who says she and King met each other’s families – claims that King told her she’d been ‘testing’ her for six months to see if she was the kind of person she wanted to hire as an executive assistant.
The ordeal led to Berger (pictured) living with King for two and a half months, private planes to Las Vegas and meetings with people King claimed were movers and shakers. ‘I just thought I was working for a crazy rich lawyer,’ Berger said, but eventually, ‘I started getting really uneasy.’ She noticed that King would go missing in the middle of the night – turning off her phone so no one could reach her – and not sleep for days on end. Eventually, in September 2021, King’s Rolls-Royce was impounded in front of Berger. It was one of several Rolls-Royces that she claimed to own, in addition to a number of Bentleys.
Other times, they would travel to Vegas and stay in fancy suites at various hotels on the strip after taking weekly chartered flights to a private airport. Friends of King’s claims she had political ambitions as well, posing for photos with the likes of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, former Vice President Mike Pence and Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. King donated $29,000 to Republican candidates in 2017 alone. She was able to gain access by making her way into the Gen Next Foundation, a conservative non-profit in Orange County.
King (pictured) was eventually blacklisted by Manna Kadar, a member who claims King fraudulently induced $62,000 in loans from her. ‘I have never come across someone like this,’ Kadar said. ‘And I am just shocked that it’s got to this level. Who knows how many more victims are out there.’
The attorney tried to launch a defense in an email to women involved with Next Gen: ‘I know how optics on me look right now—but things are not as they seem to be. I have never done anyone wrong, intentionally, and I’m horrified at what people think about me and what has been said and/or construed. She’s dangerous in the sense that she’s able to say whatever she wants, and people are, for the most part, going to believe it because of her charisma,’ Berger said. Pictured: King.
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