Justice can move at a snail’s pace. The trial of Edward Shin, who is accused of murdering his debt settlement lead provider partner, Chris Smith, has finally begun.
In court, it was presented that Shin had finally boxed himself into a corner from the alleged embezzlement which began with his previous employer. Shin is said to have been shuttling back and forth to Las Vegas on private jets to gamble.
The OCRegister said, “Shin was regularly flying to Las Vegas to gamble “obscene amounts” at the craps tables, lawsuits filed by the company Shin previously worked for alleged that he had taken company money – possibly up to $900,000 – and had put it into his own bank account, the prosecutor said.”
MyNewsLA said, “And tensions rose when Shin’s prior employer sued the defendant and the victim over allegations of “improper redistribution of funds” in the range of $700,000 to $900,000, Murphy said. Then Shin got hit with a separate lawsuit, Murphy said.
Eventually, Shin negotiated a potential settlement of the litigation but was given a five-month deadline, which allegedly became a problem when a now-suspicious Smith would not sign off on the agreement unless he received new protections against embezzlement.
“We need to make sure he doesn’t have room for fraud. He’s itching to do it again,” Smith wrote his attorney in an email on June 4, 2010, Murphy said. That evening, the attorney received an email, purportedly from Smith, declaring he agreed to a buyout from Shin and wished to go on a “surf safari” around the world, Murphy said.
Murphy alleged it was Shin who wrote that email as the start of a drawn-out attempt to cover up the murder.”
The now alleged emails from Shin to cover up the disappearance of Chris Smith said that Smith had abruptly left the U.S. in the middle of this dispute and was off exploring the coast of South America with a Playboy model on a 45-foot yacht.
It probably didn’t help Shin that a blood-stained San Juan Capistrano office was discovered the following week after it is believed Smith was murdered and employees were allowed to return to the office. According to the OCRegister, “Employees were told not to come back to the office the next week, Murphy said, and were met with an overpowering stench when they returned. One employee noticed a dark stain on the carpet near Smith’s office, the prosecutor said, which Shin explained was from Smith spilling red wine and urinating.”
It is postulated that Shin used a rented truck to haul Smith’s body out to the desert and bury it. His body has never been recovered even though Smith’s blood was confirmed to have been found in the carpet stain and all over the walls and ceiling at the alleged murder scene.