Desi News

Upstate New York business owner sentenced for money laundering and other crimes

An Indian-American man from Liverpool, New York, was sentenced Aug. 21, to 60 months in prison and a 3-year term of supervised release for engaging in money laundering and maintaining a drug-involved premises.

The sentence of Jayesh Patel, 49, who was caught as a result of a sting operation, was  announced Aug. 22, by the United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York Grant C. Jaquith and other officials, in Syracuse, N.Y., according to a press release.

As part of a related civil forfeiture case, Patel agreed to forfeit $931,588.06 in drug proceeds that were seized in cash during search warrants and from bank accounts. Additionally, Patel forfeited 5,150 shares of Solvay Bank stock worth over $200,000.00.

In sentencing Patel, United States District Judge David N. Hurd said that the defendant “became wealthy by exploiting his customers’ addictions,” the press release noted.

Patel, co-owner of Munchies convenience store in Solvay, New York, and the Econo Lodge Inn and Suites located near the Syracuse airport, admitted that he sold crack cocaine on a daily basis to drug customers from inside these two businesses.

As part of his guilty plea, Patel admitted that he sold crack cocaine to two police informants working with the Syracuse Police Department on 14 separate occasions from inside Munchies.  Patel also admitted to laundering drug proceeds using his business account at Solvay Bank.

Law enforcement officers executed search warrants at Munchies, the Econo Lodge, and Patel’s residence and truck, from which large amounts of U.S. currency were seized, the press release said. Stock and funds held in bank accounts were also seized by IRS-CI.  In total, Patel forfeited over $1 million dollars in drug proceeds, the press release said.

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