Missing doctor’s son admits forgery in sale of her SUV
By Ruth Ann Krause Post-Tribune correspondent September 13, 2012 3:46PM
Paul Monet Fontaine, son of Dr. Promila Mehta Paul. | Provided Photo~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 15, 2012 9:52AM
A Munster man who is a person of interest in the disappearance of his mother, Highland ophthalmologist Promila Mehta Paul, has pleaded guilty to forgery involving the sale of one of her sport utility vehicles.
Paul Monet Fontaine, 39, who also uses the name Paresh Paul, admitted he conducted the sale of a black 2010 Toyota Rav4 owned by PMP Associates. Fontaine signed the vehicle title indicating he was chief financial officer of PMP Associates and sold the car on Sept. 13, 2011, to Frankie’s Auto Sales in Dyer for $17,750.
PMP Associates is actually Promila Mehta Paul Associates, a professional health care operation providing medical services. Dr. Promila Mehta Paul is the registered agent, principal and secretary of the company, according to Indiana Secretary of State records.
The sale occurred nearly six months after his mother disappeared after seeing patients on March 21, 2011, in her office, then making a bank deposit in Highland. She was not reported missing until three days later. Fontaine lived with his mother in her Munster home at the time of her disappearance.
Fontaine vanished for a few days when his mother disappeared, only to be found crossing into the United States from Mexico on foot on March 26, 2011. U.S. Border Patrol in San Ysidro, Calif. detained him, after a national alert had been issued. Police said he had no car, suitcase or other belongings when he was detained.
Mehta Paul’s 2001 gold Toyota Rav4 is missing.
Early in the investigation police cleared Mehta Paul’s ex-husband, pediatrician Shashi Damon Paul, and two of the couple’s three sons. In September 2011, Munster police named Fontaine, the oldest son, a “person of interest” in his mother’s disappearance. Police said Fontaine was unwilling to explain his whereabouts at the time of his mother’s disappearance and gave inconsistent statements to investigators.
Fontaine faces two to eight years at his Oct. 9 sentencing hearing before Lake Superior Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr. Defense attorney Derrick Julkes and deputy prosecutor David Urbanski will argue an appropriate sentence. Three other felony charges and a separate case charging him with felony battery on law enforcement and resisting law enforcement will be dismissed if Stefaniak accepts the plea agreement.