U.S. Attorney Announces Filing Of Motion For Consent Order And Settlement Agreement Involving The Sale Of Former Red Roof Inn Property In Charlotte
Government to Receive $175,000 from Previous Owner; New Owner Agrees to Certain Conditions, Including Substantial Property Renovations & Increased Crime Reduction Measures
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose announced that a consent motion for entry of order and settlement agreement were filed in federal court today, involving the sale of a property located at 3300 Queen City Drive, Charlotte, N.C., formerly known as Red Roof Inn.
In September 2015, the United States filed a civil complaint against the former Red Roof Inn property under federal forfeiture laws, alleging that the property had been used over several years to commit or to facilitate the commission of federal violations of law, including sex trafficking of minors, the transportation of minors for criminal sexual activity and felony drug trafficking crimes.
Federal forfeiture laws allow the United States to seek the forfeiture of property used to commit or facilitate the commission of certain offenses, in instances where the property owners have failed to take reasonable steps to reduce such crime. The complaint in this case alleged that the property owners, or their managing agents, had been repeatedly advised by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department of the ongoing criminal activity at the motel and advised of specific measures that should be put in place to reduce criminal activity. The complaint further alleged that despite such notice and advisements, criminal activity at the motel continued.
Today, U.S. Attorney Rose announced that Shreeji Hospitality Queen City, LLC, (Shreeji), the former owner of the Red Roof Inn, has reached an agreement with the United States whereby the former Red Roof Inn property has been sold to a third party not related to the previous owner. This third party has also signed the federal settlement agreement and agreed, among other things, to invest $300,000 in the property to make improvements; to seek affiliation with a national chain hotel; and to impose specific rules and procedures to reduce crime to include: 1) installing a 24-hour video surveillance security system; and 2) ensuring the property does not rent rooms by the hour. Also pursuant to that agreement, and without admitting liability or guilt, Shreeji has agreed that $175,000 of the proceeds from the sale of the property will be paid to the United States. Thereafter, the United States will dismiss the civil case.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Rose said that the United States may seek, in civil actions, the forfeiture of motels and other commercial properties where high levels of criminal activity occur and where the owners of such properties fail to take reasonable steps to reduce crime at such locations.
U.S. Attorney Rose also commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department for collaborating to achieve today’s outcome.
Copies of the civil complaint, the settlement agreement and related filed documents may be found at U.S. v. Real Property Located at 3300 Queen City Drive, Charlotte, North Carolina, a/k/a Red Roof Inn, 3:15-CV-429.