Ms. Parineh, 56, had a "large" life insurance policy and Mr. Parineh has several properties in foreclosure, no liquidity and "enormous debt," said Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe of the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.
Mr. Parineh, 64, could be sentenced to death or life in prison without the possibility of parole if he is convicted. The District Attorney's Office has not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty, prosecutors said.
Deputies from the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office arrested Mr. Parineh in Sunnyvale on June 17 and booked him into the San Mateo County jail. He is the only suspect in the case and is in jail on a no-bail status.
Mr. Parineh tried to make the death of his wife appear to be a suicide, Mr. Wagstaffe said. Ms. Parineh had been shot several times in the head and was found in the couples' bedroom of their home, a mansion at 50 Fox Hill Drive in Woodside.
Details about the case are sealed until after the trial, if there is one, Lt. Ray Lunny of the Sheriff's Office told The Almanac.
Mr. Parineh was arraigned Friday, June 18, in Redwood City and was initially scheduled to enter a plea on June 24.
"From the very beginning, evidence appeared to indicate that this was a murder," prosecutor Al Giannini said outside the courtroom.
Mr. Giannini said that Mr. Parineh was not immediately arrested because police wanted to wait until the investigation was complete before filing charges.
Bay City News Service contributed to this report.