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Indian origin hotelier admits to defrauding an investor

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New York, (IANS) A hotelier and former banker of Indian origin has admitted in a federal court to defrauding an investor of $500,000 and now faces a prison sentence, according to a federal prosecutor in Tennessee.

Rajesh C. Patel, 55, of Duluth, Georgia, pleaded guilty Monday before federal Senior Judge William J. Haynes, Jr., in Nashville, Tennessee, to two charges of wire fraud in defrauding the investor, according to the prosecutor, David Rivera.

Patel had received the money from the Tennessee-based investor for a $3.75 million auction bid for a hotel mortgage, but when he lost the bid he diverted the money to pay a debt, the the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said Tuesday. He also misrepresented the result of the auction to the investor.

He has since, however, repaid the money to the investor.

The maximum penalty Patel can receive when he is sentenced on 15 October is 20 years in prison for each of the offenses, in addition to fines and property forfeiture. In practice, though, it is unusual for someone to receive the maximum prison sentences to run serially.

Wire fraud charges involve the use of telephones or digital communications to carry out the crime.

Patel and his brother, Mukesh “Mike” Patel had been been the main shareholders of the Haven Trust Bank in Duluth, Georgia, which was shut down in 2008 by Georgia state authorities.

Subsequently he and 14 others who were directors or officials of the bank were sued by the federal agency which guarantees deposits made by bank customers. The agency had accused them of gross negligence and failure to carry out their duties properly.

In 2014 all the 15 reached a settlement in which they agreed to pay the agency $2.45 million.

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Ethnic Indian Jai Sears responds to complaint against the statue of Gandhi in Grenada

Jai Sears wrote in response to a letter on Mahatma Gandhi entitled “Dustbin of history” written by Josiah Rougier

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Gandhi
Mahatama Gandhi, leader of non violence

Jai Sears from Grenada, Caribbean has written a letter to editor in response to complaints against the statue of Gandhi in Grenada. Here is the text:

I write in response to a letter on Mahatma Gandhi entitled “Dustbin of history” written by Josiah Rougier and published in the Grenada newspaper, The New Today (Nov 3, 2017). In his letter, Rougier is asking the Government to remove the bust-statue of Gandhi which overlooks Sauteurs Bay in Grenada where East Indians arrived 160 years ago. Rougier’s opinion is based on the false notion that Gandhi was racist because the Mahatma reportedly considered Indians to be superior to black Africans when he referred to the latter as “kaffirs.”

Gandhi was only 27 years old when he made that contextual statement. If Rougier had done his research, he would have found that Nelson Mandela said: “Gandhi must be forgiven for these prejudices in the context of the time and the circumstances.” The quote can be found in “Gandhi the Prisoner” by Nelson Mandela published in 1995. Gandhi was a man; he was not god. And even god made mistakes.

In favour of Mahatama Gandhi
Photo of Jai Sears

Rougier must instead focus on the Gandhi’s vision of non-violent protest and his belief in satyagraha which inspired rebels and revolutionaries around the world. Gandhi’s ideas influenced leaders of the African National Congress and the struggle by Indians and blacks against white apartheid rule in South Africa. From as early as 1956 when he was 27 years old, Martin Luther King, Jr. referred to Gandhi as “the guiding light of our technique of nonviolent social change.”

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Following the success of his boycott, King contemplated traveling to India to deepen his understanding of Gandhian principles. The fact is that Gandhi saw people of all races, castes, colours and creeds as equal which led to his assassination by a Hindu fanatic in 1948. So who is this unknown Josiah Rougier? Is he as illustrious as the great Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King? And is he disagreeing with his possible heroes?

A friend to all.
Jai Sears
Grenada, Caribbean

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