MONTE SERENO -- Prostitutes. Illegitimate children. Condos for his "female companions." A "sham divorce" to hide millions of dollars in assets from creditors.
Although police remain tight-lipped about who killed Raveesh "Ravi" Kumra in his Monte Sereno mansion and why, volumes of court files reviewed Monday paint a picture of a wealthy and ruthless businessman accused of nefarious business dealings while living a sordid and debaucherous lifestyle.
"Ravi has never treated anyone fairly in his life, except for his whores," read one email in the court file sent from Stephen Kaffee, the former CEO of Kumra's Tesla Capital venture firm, to another former Tesla executive.
One 22-year-old prostitute is already in jail, accused of being an accessory to murder, and three men have been arrested on murder charges for the Nov. 30 killing. But authorities from the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department refuse to explain their connection to the crime or even how Kumra, 66, who once owned The Mountain Winery concert venue, was killed on a stormy night in his gated estate in one of Silicon Valley's most exclusive enclaves.
"We have not exhausted all investigative leads at this time and until that happens, we can't be sure that we have all the suspects," Kerry Harris, spokesman for the police department, said Monday. "At that point in time, we will be able to paint a more complete picture."
Although the reasons for his death remain a mystery,
Among the details: that Kumra told Kaffee that the divorce "would be on paper only and that there would be no real change in anything;" that a woman who bore Kumra's child out of wedlock tried to "bilk" hundreds of thousands of dollars from him; that his alcohol-fueled violent and disturbing behavior in the late 1990s ended up in a 90-day suspended jail sentence, three years' probation and court-ordered psychiatric counseling.
"However successful Kumra may have once been in business, in my opinion his chronic abuse of alcohol, his chronic use of marijuana, his failure to address his health problems, and his immersion in a fantasy world of prostitutes and illegitimate children have left him without the interest or ability necessary" to make his businesses successful, Kaffee wrote in a 2007 declaration filed in the divorce proceeding.
At 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 30, Harinder made a frantic call to police from the Monte Sereno home she still shared with Kumra, saying as many as four intruders had broken in. She had been beaten up. Her "husband," she said, was in the house -- a tiled-roof mansion that spanned 7,000 square feet on a wooded hillside.
When police arrived, they found Ravi Kumra dead. Harinder, also known as Rani, was hospitalized with her injuries. Police have not said whether anything was stolen from the home or whether the intruders had intended to kill Kumra.
According to court records, the couple had been officially divorced for two years, and the house, the furnishings, the Mercedes, a cellular phone company and the Tesla venture capital firm were hers, not his. Rani Kumra ran her own business out of the house, selling "blessings" to customers and leading spiritual retreats.
But the two businessmen, Kaffee of Maryland and Rodriguez of Danville, contended in court papers that the divorce proceeding was a sham. Instead, worried that a pending lawsuit involving Kankakee Cellular of Illinois might strip him of his millions, Ravi Kumra orchestrated the divorce to shelter his assets.
Kumra was concerned, Rodriguez wrote in his declaration, because evidence revealed that "for years Kumra wrote himself millions of dollars in checks directly from the Kankakee bank account, which he characterized as management fees," but Kumra "performed virtually no services whatsoever."
Among other things, Rodriguez wrote in his declaration, Kumra used funds from the Kankakee bank account "to pay for escort services, prostitutes, purchasing condominiums for his female companions and other personal expenses."
In response to the accusations, Kumra denied in his declaration that his divorce was a sham and instead accused Kaffee and Rodriguez of embezzling money from him. Kaffee said in a brief phone conversation Monday that the case was settled and he could not comment further.
The Kankakee case involving Kumra was dismissed, said Kaffee, who called the decision "outrageous" and blamed a quirk in Illinois law.
Messages left for two lawyers who have represented Kumra in his business affairs, Marc Shea in San Jose and Richard Hamlin in Los Angeles, were not returned Monday afternoon. An attempt to reach Harinder Kumra was unsuccessful because the message machine linked to her phone number was full.
Court records also show that in 1998, Kumra threatened a woman who refused to allow him entrance to the Kenny Loggins concert at The Mountain Winery without a ticket or authorization from a nearby manager.
"He is a dead man and you're next," Kumra said, according to the woman.
Then he blew her kisses and said, "bye bye."
Contact Julia Prodis Sulek at 408-278-3409.