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Indian-American couple shot dead in Michigan

March 17, 2008 18:29 IST

An Indian-American couple was found shot in the head at their house in an alleged case of contract killing ordered by their long-time friend and compatriot whom they had accused of siphoning off their money.

Brij Chhabra, 65, and his wife, Aasha, 56, were found dead on Tuesday inside their home in Troy in Michigan and police have arrested four people from Houston including a friend of Chhabras, Narayan Thadani.

Thadani was hired by the couple to manage their assets in India and they had filed a lawsuit against him in 2006 that made several claims, including that he had transferred some of their assets to himself.

The police arrested the alleged hired killers Miguel Angel Servando, 40, and Nelson Mendoza, 34, who were arraigned on Friday in a Troy court on first-degree murder charges. The two have pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors claim the two were promised $100,000 to kill the couple.

Thadani and Douglas Tabor were taken into custody by the FBI late on Friday on charges of conspiracy to commit murder, said Gina Balaya, a spokeswoman for the US Attorney's Office in Detroit.

The duo is awaiting an appearance before a federal magistrate in Houston and is expected to be extradited to Detroit to face charges, Free Press reported. Troy police said it could be up to 15 days before Thadani and Tabor are brought to Detroit.

In a lawsuit pending in Tarrant County District Court in Texas, Aasha had charged Thadani with siphoning off valuable property and possibly millions of dollars from her. Family members said Aasha had entrusted Thadani with the sale of property and transferring funds from India to the US after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

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