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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 2, 2017

Battle Creek Hotel Owner Pleads Guilty To Lying To The US Department Of Labor About Minimum Wage Payments

         GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced today that Mehul Chandubhai Patel, a/k/a “Mike Patel,” 31, of Battle Creek, Michigan, pled guilty today to lying to Labor Department investigators about the wages paid to his staff. The charges stem from Patel’s violation of minimum wage rules in connection with two hotels operated by him, in Battle Creek and Coldwater, Michigan.

          Patel appeared in federal court today before Magistrate Judge Ellen Carmody and pled guilty to the crime of concealing a material fact from the federal government when obligated to disclose it. Patel admitted that during 2014, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) had found him to be in violation of minimum wage laws by underpaying his hotel employees. He thereafter signed an agreement promising to repay his employees. When requested to provide proof that he had done so, Patel sent DOL checks indicating that back wages had been repaid. However, he concealed the fact that he required his employees to return the money to him.

          Patel faces up to five years in prison, restitution and other penalties. U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney will impose sentence on Patel.

          Prosecution of the matter has been assigned to Timothy VerHey, Assistant U.S. Attorney. The matter was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Battle Creek Police Department.

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Updated February 2, 2017