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Indian-American hotelier made staff return salary, found guilty by US court

Indian-American hotelier, Chandubhai Patel, has been convicted in a scheme to underpay workers at two of his establishments, a federal prosecutor said.

The hotelier, who also uses the name Mike Patel, admitted before federal magistrate Judge Ellen Carmody in Grand Rapids, Michigan state, that he lied to the labour department investigators about wages paid to his staff, acting federal prosecutor for Western Michigan Andrew Birge said on Thursday.

The labour department found in 2014 that he had paid his employees at hotels in Battle Creek and Coldwater in Michigan less than the legally prescribed minimum wages and he signed an agreement with the department to pay his workers the amount he had underpaid them, the prosecution said.

Patel, 31, sent the labour department checks showing he had made the payments, but he had made the staff give him back the amount, leading to charges of him lying to the department.

If sentenced, Patel could be asked to pay his workers and sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison.

Source: HindustanTimes