Indian American Businessman Indicted for Stealing $750K from Restaurant Investors
HOBOKEN, NJ New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal May 9 announced that a businessman has been indicted for allegedly stealing $750,000 that he solicited from investors to open a bar and restaurant in Hoboken.
Nirav Patel, 39, of Hoboken, N.J., was indicted May 8 by a state grand jury on a second-degree charge of theft by deception. Patel was indicted as the result of an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau, the attorney general’s office said in a news release.
Patel is a real estate and business investor whose primary focus has been restaurants and bars in New Jersey and New York.
In 2014, the Indian American solicited investors for a World of Beer franchise in Hoboken. He allegedly accepted $750,000 from an investment group as a share in the ownership of World of Beer Hoboken, but failed to use those funds for the project. Instead, Patel allegedly deposited the investor funds in his own business account and used the money for personal and business expenses unrelated to World of Beer Hoboken, the release said.
“When New Jersey residents invest their hard-earned money, they are entitled to nothing less than a fair and honest deal,” said Grewal in a statement. “We are committed to protecting investors by diligently investigating allegations of financial fraud and prosecuting dishonest operators.”
Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000.