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Pair Found Guilty In 2018 Murder-For-Hire Of Mountain View Chef Dominic Sarkar

FREMONT (CBS SF) -- Two people were found guilty this week in the 2018 murder-for-hire of popular Mountain View chef and Fremont resident Dominic Sarkar, authorities said Wednesday.

The Alameda County District Attorney's Office said a jury on Monday found Marvel Salvant and Maria Moore guilty of first-degree murder with special circumstances in Sarkar's killing. Prosecutors said Moore, who had a relationship with Sarkar, conspired with Salvant to murder Sarkar in order to collect $800,000 in life insurance benefits on his life.

Fremont Murder for Hire Suspects
Marvel Salvant and Maria Moore (Alameda County DA)

Moore was listed as the domestic partner and the beneficiary of Sarkar's life insurance policies.

Sankar, who worked at high-end restaurants in New Delhi, Dubai, Philadelphia and Orlando before coming to the Bay Area, was found shot several times in his bed on Oct. 8, 2018 while his housemates were left unharmed.

The owner of Passage to India, the Mountain View restaurant where Sarkar worked, told KPIX in 2018 that Moore pretended to mourn Sarkar's death -- even inviting his family to stay with her during his funeral.

"I thought she was a very nice person, very nice," said Passage to India owner Sushma Taneja said at the time. "She was crying a lot after he passed away, she used to cry a lot."

Dominic Sarkar
Dominic Sarkar (LinkedIn)

Investigators determined 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 Sept. 2016, the policy was altered by Moore, eliminating the daughters as contingent beneficiaries.

In 2017, Sarkar added an additional $300,000 policy and again listed his daughters as contingent beneficiaries. A police investigatour found the policy was later modified to add Moore as the primary beneficiary and remove Sarkar's daughters.

The DA's office said Moore wired $500 to Salvant less than a month before the murder.

Analysis of the 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."

Sarkar was 56 years old at the time of his death.

Both Moore and Salvant were expected to be sentenced on March 9.

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