Serial Fraudster Sentenced to 87 Months
MADISON, WIS. - Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Dharmesh Patel, 31, formerly of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 87 months in prison for committing aggravated identity theft and wire fraud. Patel pled guilty to those charges on March 13, 2020.
Patel co-owned and ran the Baymont Inn & Suites Hotel in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. To execute a series of frauds, Patel stole the identity of an individual, J.L., who worked at the hotel. Patel used J.L.’s identity primarily with businesses to obtain merchandise for the Stevens Point hotel, and another hotel he operated, the Baymont Inn & Suites Hotel in Coralville, Iowa. For example, Patel used J.L.’s name and identity to purchase 110 fifty-five inch televisions which were shipped to the Baymont Inn in Stevens Point, but which Patel moved—with other merchandise obtained by fraud—to the Baymont Inn in Iowa. The total loss from Patel’s schemes exceeded $500,000.
At sentencing, Judge Peterson stated that Patel stood out from other white collar defendants because of his lengthy criminal history. Judge Peterson noted that a significant sentence was necessary to specifically deter Patel and to protect the public from his crimes. Judge Peterson stated that Patel’s ongoing criminal behavior and the current scheme to defraud showed that Patel “was a menace.”
The charges against Patel were the result of an investigation conducted by the Stevens Point Police Department, the Coralville, Iowa Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Prosecution of the case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary J. Corey and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy M. O’Shea.