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Indian American Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering and Maintaining a Drug-Involved Premises

BY DEPT. OF JUSTICE

SYRACUSE, NY – Jayesh Patel, age 49, of Liverpool, New York, pled guilty to engaging in a monetary transaction in criminally derived property, and to maintaining a drug-involved premises, announced United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Jonathan D. Larsen, Acting Special Agent in Charge Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), New York Field Office.

Patel, co-owner of the Munchies convenience store in Solvay, New York, and the Econo Lodge Inn & Suites, located near the Syracuse airport, admitted that he sold crack cocaine on a nearly daily basis to drug customers inside Munchies and the Econo Lodge. Patel further admitted to laundering drug proceeds through his business account at Solvay Bank.

Law enforcement officers executed search warrants at Munchies, the Econo Lodge, and Patel’s residence and vehicle, seizing funds held in bank accounts and in U.S. currency. In all, these seizures totaled over $1 million, most of which were the proceeds from drug trafficking.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 24, 2019, at which time Patel faces a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $500,000, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), the Syracuse Police Department-Special Investigation Division, the United States Department of Agriculture-Office of Inspector General, and the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven Clymer, Tamara Thomson, and Michael Perry.