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2nd arrest in murder of OC business partner

August 30, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Authorities said a second man was arrested in connection with the murder of an Orange County businessman who vanished a year ago.

Authorities said Kenny Roy Kraft helped clean up after the murder of 32-year-old Christopher Smith.

"He did admit to disposing of some personal belongings that belonged to the victim, such as his car, some clothing and some other items," said Jim Amormino of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Police say Kraft was a personal assistant and driver for Ed Shin, the 33-year-old business partner of the victim. He was arrested Sunday after allegedly confessing to murdering Smith in June 2010 for financial gain.

Officials say Shin and Smith founded the company 800 Xchange, which develops media leads for advertising. Investigators allege blood found in their San Juan Capistrano office belonged to Smith.

"Mr. Smith wanted to separate from the company, but to do that, Mr. Shin had to pay him a million dollars," Amormino said. "Instead of paying him ... he killed him."

Afterwards, investigators suspect Shin sent Smith's family emails pretending to be Smith, assuring them he was OK.

Authorities say Shin was convicted of embezzlement last year involving LG Technologies and ordered to pay $700,000.

Another former business partner, who only wanted to be identified as Brian, claimed that the husband and father stole up to half a million dollars from him shortly after starting a mortgage business together called Residential Finance America in 2003.

"He lived off our money until we found out, and when I confronted him, he basically disappeared on us," Brian said.

Brian said he considered himself fortunate to have only lost money and not his life.

"He doesn't care about anybody but himself," he said. "Karma comes around. It took a while, but Ed Shin, you're getting yours."

Shin's arraignment hearing has been continued to Sept. 28. Smith's body has never been found.

Anyone with information on the case is urged to call Orange County Sheriff's Department investigators at (714) 647-7048.


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