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Mug Shot Monday – Nik Patel Fraud Has Political Ramifications in the State of Florida

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October 6, 2014

By Bob Coleman
Editor, Coleman Report

GovRickScottThe arrest last week of Nik Patel on charges of selling bogus USDA business and industry loans to the secondary market has created waves in the Florida governor election.

Nik had hosted a fundraiser at his house earning incumbent Republican governor Rick Scott $100,000.

Democrats are crying foul.

“Rick Scott must immediately return this tainted cash,” says Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant. “Rick Scott lent his name and his reputation to a suspected criminal, and in return got a six-figure check for his reelection. Now it has come to light that this individual has been arrested by the FBI for perpetrating a $150 million dollar crime.

“If Rick Scott has any respect for the people he serves and the office he holds, he will do the right thing and return the money. After all, who else would know more about perpetrating fraud and being the target of federal investigations than Rick Scott?”

Scott’s campaign says the governor will make a charitable contribution of $2,800 to offset the direct donation received from Patel.

Switching topics, The Orlando Sentinal’s Paul Brinkmann has done a nice job reporting this story.

Following is his reporting……….

“Patel, 30, is known as the founder and CEO of Orlando-based First Farmers Financial and had recently launched a hotel redevelopment company, Alena Hospitality.

“The hotel company recently opened a Doubletree by Hilton at University of Central Florida and has been renovating the former Marriott hotel in downtown Orlando near the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center.

“Patel paid $14 million for the downtown hotel, which was slated to become the Renaissance Orlando with another $17 million renovation.

“The Sentinel had reported on Patel’s downtown hotel project in July. Patel’s company website had listed him as a graduate of University of Central Florida, but the university had no record of his graduation there. When confronted about it, Patel told a Sentinel reporter that he didn’t write his corporate biographies and that he would change it. The biography was later changed to say he had attended classes at UCF.

“Patel is a former bank executive for Fifth Third Bank, Beach Business Bank and Comerica Bank. He has also been involved in restaurant businesses including part ownership of downtown Orlando’s Mingos.

“The First Farmers Financial website says Patel is a seasoned banker with more than seven years of his career having been focused on government-guaranteed lending under the Small Business Administration program as well as the Business & Industry program within the USDA.”

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