Skip to main content

Woman and Accomplice Convicted of Murdering Chef in $800,000 Life Insurance Scheme

Maria Moore, and Marvel Salvant.

Maria Moore, and Marvel Salvant.

Jurors convicted a woman and her accomplice of first-degree murder for killing a chef over life insurance policies totaling $800,000, according to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office in California.

Maria Moore, 53, said after chef Dominic Sarkar, 56, died that they had an occasional sexual relationship, but evidence showed she would have been the financial beneficiary if he passed away. Marvel Salvant, 49, was found guilty as the gunman, who shot and killed the victim as that man slept.

Moore wired Salvant $500 less than a month before the October 2018 murder, and they texted each other both before and immediately after the killing, prosecutors said. Cell phone evidence showed Salvant going from his workplace to Sarkar’s neighborhood. As seen on surveillance footage, he cased the area and finally parked blocks from the victim home.

“A male was then seen on the footage riding a bicycle towards the victim’s residence from where Defendant Salvant’s vehicle parked,” prosecutors wrote. “Minutes after the murder, the same male was seen on the video footage returning to the vehicle. Cell phone location data then showed Defendant Salvant leaving the area back to his residence in the Sacramento area.”

Salvant told others he would be getting a lot of money soon and made clear that he would do so through untoward means.

“I’m an evil person … I committed a cardinal sin … I already did it,” Salvant said, according to court documents obtained by The East Bay Times. “So, ain’t no turning back from here.”

He may have done the dirty work, but Moore set it all up, according to authorities. Moore and Sarkar, an executive chef at The Passage to India restaurant in the city of Mountain View, bought life insurance policies on him. From prosecutors:

In April 2016, Mr. Sarkar and Defendant Moore purchased a $500,000 life insurance policy insuring Mr. Sarkar’s life. She was listed as his domestic partner, and his two daughters were listed as contingent beneficiaries.

Months later in September of 2016, a beneficiary change was submitted, removing Mr. Sarkar’s daughters from the policy, and naming Moore’s son as the contingent beneficiary. In 2017, Mr. Sarkar purchased an additional $300,000 insurance policy insuring his life with his daughters listed as the sole beneficiaries. In January of 2018, this policy was also changed removing Mr. Sarkar’s daughters and naming Defendant Moore as the sole beneficiary.

Sentencing is set for March 9.

[Booking photos via Fremont Police Department]

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime: