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NRI Father and son motel owners were charged falsely claimed
to have been Hurricane Katrina victims


Union City, Georgia, June 29, 2007
Ramesh Patel

NRI father Ramesh Patel, 51, and his son Chirag Patel, 26, both of Union City, Georgia were charged with defrauding $20,000 to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of funds meant for victims of Hurricane Katrina. They were released shortly after their arraignment on a $20,000 bond.

Comfort Inn Union City, 6800 Shannon Way, Union City, GA 30291

In October 2005, the Patels, owner of a Comfort Inn in Union City rented rooms to Gulf Coast evacuees. But the Patels continued to charge the Federal Emergency Management Agency for rooms after the evacuees had checked out. In some cases, they billed FEMA for rooms that the evacuees had never stayed in. The rooms were either rented to non-evacuee guests or occupied by members of the Patels' family, according to prosecutors.

Mr. David Nahmias, U.S. Attorney said his office has prosecuted several individuals who falsely claimed to have been Hurricane Katrina victims. But this is his office's first case involving people who provided services to hurricane victims.

“These defendants allegedly billed FEMA by claiming that Hurricane Katrina evacuees stayed at their hotel on certain nights, when in fact they did not stay at their hotel,” said US Attorney David Nahmias.

“They took advantage of the chaos created by Hurricane Katrina and bilked the taxpayers of tens of thousands of dollars earmarked for emergency housing. Such conduct simply will not be tolerated,” he was quoted as saying by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

After the Patel's charge, reporters rushed to the Comfort Inn at 6800 Shannon Way for interview but Patel declined to speak to a reporters and said "You can just talk to my lawyer."


Don't worry Patel sahib, you are not alone , read this:

Mr. Dugas said, federal prosecutors have filed hurricane-related criminal charges against 335 individuals. That represents a record number of indictments from a single hurricane season, Justice Department officials said. Separately, Red Cross officials say they are investigating 7,100 cases of possible fraud.

The American people are the most generous in the world in responding to a disaster," Mr. Dugas said. "We won't tolerate people in a position of public trust taking advantage of the situation."

  • Some hotel managers or owners, like Daniel Yeh, of Sugar Land, exploited the lack of oversight, investigators have charged, and submitted bills for empty rooms or those occupied by paying guests or employees. Mr. Yeh submitted $232,000 in false claims, his arrest affidavit said. His lawyer, Robert Bennett, said that Mr. Yeh was mentally incompetent and that the charges should be dismissed
  • Congressional investigators, meanwhile, have referred another 7,000 cases of possible fraud to prosecutors, including more than 1,000 prison inmates who collected more than $12 million in federal aid, much of it in the form of rental assistance.

There are bigger cases of government waste or fraud in United States history. The Treasury Department, for example, estimated in 2005 that Americans in a single year had improperly been granted perhaps $9 billion in unjustified claims under the Earned-Income Tax Credit. The Department of Health and Human Services in 2001 estimated that nearly $12 billion in Medicare benefit payments in the previous year had been based on improper or fraudulent complaints......

Patel sahib, you can be accepted because of your blood is mix up with our old culture, BUT HOW YOUR DARE TO TEACH YOUR SON this kind of "hera pheri"

Gary Singh, reporter



NRI indicted in FEMA fraud scheme:

A father and son from Union City, Ga., were arraigned Monday on mail fraud charges related to a scheme to defraud the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina.