Indo-American hotelier falsely accused of abusing PPP loans


INDICA NEWS OFFICE

A New York Native American hotelier who was sued by Adirondack Trust Co. for allegedly abusing $ 1.9 million in federal COVID-19 loans said bank executives had since admitted they had not found no real evidence of fraud.

Niral Patel, owner of the Comfort Inn and Suites in Saratoga Springs as well as the Golden Corral in Wilton and several other Golden Corral franchises across the state and in New Jersey, was sued by Adirondack Trust last October after the bank froze the loan funds, which were obtained through the federal government’s paycheck protection program designed to keep hotels, restaurants and other businesses afloat during the first year of the pandemic.

Patel, a resident of Saratoga Springs, turned around and sued Adirondack Trust for $ 10 million over the allegations and for freezing the loan proceeds.

In a recent filing in the matter, Patel said the bank had no real reason to freeze his account or deny him the PPP loan money – except that they feared he might not be able to repay the loans. Patel also claims the bank’s response was due to underlying racism against his family, who are Indo-American, even though they have been doing business with Adirondack Trust for 20 years.

In an affidavit filed by Patel on September 2, he said the company made unsubstantiated allegations about him in an attempt to justify its decision to deny my businesses access to more than $ 1.9 million in funds. in the midst of a health and economic crisis.

He added that the company with its allegations threatened the livelihoods of his business, embarrassed his family, undermined his reputation within the community and with his employees.

In his lawsuit, Adirondack Trust alleged that Patel used the loan proceeds for unauthorized payments, such as his mother’s mortgage.

This claim is “ridiculous and false,” Patel says in his affidavit.

“The filing is the start of an effort to clear my name, my family name and help us get hundreds of people back to work locally and across the state,” Patel said in a later statement released to media. .

Adirondack Trust has since released its own statement defending its actions in the matter. In its initial lawsuit, the bank also pointed out that Patel was technically ineligible for PPP loans due to various lawsuits and tax liens against his companies that were not disclosed in his loan applications. The bank also detailed Patel’s movement of the loan proceeds through various accounts that led him to accuse him of misusing the funds from that loan.

“Mr. Patel has been treated, as all of our customers are treated, with consideration, courtesy and respect at all times,” the bank said in a statement issued by Patrick Reilly, senior vice president of Adirondack Trust.

The statement said Adirondack Trust did not realize until after approving the $ 1.9 million loans for Patel that its businesses may not be eligible under SBA rules.

“We consulted with the SBA and worked with Mr. Patel to resolve these issues, but despite our best efforts, we were unable to do so,” the statement said.

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