Skip to comments.$540,000 seized from city motel owners[for harboring illegal aliens]
Posted on 12/08/2007 10:33:59 AM PST by SwinneySwitch
Operators given probation for conspiracy to harbor illegal immigrants
BROWNSVILLE Federal officials seized $540,000 from four Harlingen motel owners after they were sentenced to probation for conspiracy to harbor illegal immigrants, an official said Friday.
Rakeshkumar Bhakta, 40, and wife Alka Bhakta, 35, owners of the Hudson House motel, and Kamleshkumar Bhakta, 32, and wife Falguniben Bhakta, 30, owners of the Country Side Inn motel, forfeited a total of $540,000 in equity from their businesses, said Nina Pruneda, spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Antonio.
U.S. District Judge Hilda Tagle ordered the owners of the Hudson House and Country Side Inn each to pay $270,000 of the total, a press release said.
Tagle ordered Rakeshkumar Bhakta and Kamleshkumar Bhakta to serve five years probation as part of an agreement in which they would serve 30 days in jail and pay $5,000 fines, the press release said.
Alka Bhakta and Falguniben Bhakta were also sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay $2,000 fines, the press release said.
The four motel owners pleaded guilty Aug. 10 in U.S. District Court to charges that stemmed from undercover sting operations, authorities said.
In court, Tagle said an undercover operation made up of 27 ICE agents and five illegal immigrants led to the charges against the motel owners from India.
At the motels Friday, desk clerks declined comment, referring questions to Weslaco attorney Jesse Contreras. When reached by phone, Contreras said only, You have a nice day, before hanging up.
The motel owners convictions stemmed from room rentals to human smugglers, the press release said.
At the Hudson House, a 36-room motel at 500 Ed Carey Drive, Rakeshkumar and Alka Bhakta rented rooms at inflated rates to human smugglers, the press release said. The couple falsified information on registration cards, offering smugglers rooms at the motels rear to help shield smuggling, the press release said.
The couple also bought and delivered food to help smugglers shield themselves from law enforcement, the press release said.
At the Country Side Inn, a 35-room motel at 1669 N. 77 Sunshine Strip, Kamleshkumar and Falguniben Bhakta were convicted of renting rooms at inflated rates to house illegal immigrants while falsifying information on registration cards to shield smuggling from law enforcement, the press release said.
At the motel, rates jumped from $40 to $400 as part of a scheme to harbor illegal immigrants, according the indictment used to convict the motels owners.
The owners gotta be related to the Patel clan of Super 8 fame...
we need to remove all incentives for being or helping illegals.
Would this be the Patel clan of Dalton, Georgia, 22 of which were arrested as owners of convenience stores that sold a little too much ephedrine and wooden matches?
So...it IS all about the money.
Patel is Smith.
Travel post review:
“We always stay at this hotel. The staff is always friendly and very helpful. They make our stay enjoyable and try to accommodate us as much as possible.”
“accommodate as much as possible” indeed :o)
If you want on, or off this S. Texas/Mexico ping list, please FReepMail me.
Take their money for the fine.
If they are still under immigration oversight, deport them back to
their country of origin.
And make sure it gets on all the major media outlets.
Only about 2 million businesses left to go.
Now we are talking! Lots of opportunities to grab properties in the Southwest along the Underground Ferrocarril
We'll keep the light on for you!
Patel is Smith.
I am curious about what you mean because one of those motels used to be owned by a Smith family.
Somebody need to check the immigration status on these people!
The tactic of heavy fines sounds like it will be effective. It gives the enforcement agencies an incentive to go after businesses that hire and shield illegal aliens
and Kamleshkumar Bhakta, 32, and wife Falguniben Bhakta, 30, owners of the Country Side Inn motel
Thank you for explaining.
The Patel name is common only in a few states, such as Gujarat, Rajastan, and Punjab. They are Gujarati speakers, and had some experience as landlords in India. When they came here, they went into motels and hotels.
I think the Bhakta surname is also Gujarati.
Jail time would have really sent a message. No doubt mass evictions would sweep the motel industry there.
Those wacky Amish.
This is a great story!!
let the American Businesses Get reamed and this illegal crap will stop.
No one will harbor or hire them!
the flood will become a trickle!!!
That is a very expensive Motel 6. I wonder if they have turn-down service?
Patel is one of the most common names in the United States and means “Village leader/headman”.
Patel equals doctors out here.
It is my understanding that Patel means Innkeeper in their language. Most motel people here are named Patel.
A little research shows that Patel is a caste title in India meaning “Landlord”. The article also said that 60% of the motels here are owned by Indians, and that 1/3 of them use the name Patel. It is the most commonly used name here after Singh.
Were the motel owners citizens. Maybe not and they can be deported.
How about if they served their 5 years probation back in India, and reapply thereafter for admission to this country?
77 Sunshine Strip.
Good old TV show...
USC 18 allows for seizure of assets to include anything that may have transported the immigrants.
I think if locals used this club more often the illegal problem would dwindle considerably.
I was kidding a fellow I know named Singh, I asked him if he's related to the current premier or prime minister of India.
He told me that in his clan or whatever it is (he is a Sikh), "Singh" simply means "male;" all male children are named "Singh," and all females have some other appelation that I cannot recall.
Dude, you can totally still sign the guestbook!
But be nice...
Bet the food would be good. And fresh! But breakfast is at 5:30 am...
If I were king, and if giving whistleblowers a financial incentive to rat out their employers did not make me uneasy, I would set up a qui tam system — dirty employers who knew or should’ve known that they were employing illegals are subject to massive fines, and (non-illegal) employees who turn them in get the standard qui tam cut (15%? more?).
I think that would have a swift and profound effect on the immigration debate.
“It is my understanding that Patel means Innkeeper in their language. Most motel people here are named Patel.”
Except the ones who are Federal judges
In NJ and in Florida, everyone knows what you mean when you say "Patel Motel." I used to go to a no tell motel when I lived in FL, not for the Nookie, but for the curry (they had an outstanding restaurant).
Umm,nope,the word ‘Singh’ means Lion.Many Sikh women use the surname of ‘Kaur’(Lioness/Princess).Other Sikh women retain the Singh surname.
Many North Indian Hindus also use the Singh surname.
Now, if can only move on to McDonalds. Imagine a bunch of those million dollar businesses being sold at auction. That’d help take of the law breakers.
Dickens was right....
That set us apart!
Dickens was right....
That set us apart!