A Hoboken man has been charged with scamming investors out of $750,000 with the false promise of opening a “World of Beer” bar and restaurant in the Mile Square City, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Nirav Patel, 39, of Hoboken, was indicted yesterday by a state grand jury on a second-degree charge of theft by deception. Patel was indicted as the result of an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau.
Patel is a real estate and business investor whose primary focus has been restaurants and bars in New Jersey and New York, authorities said.
In 2014, Patel solicited investors for a World of Beer franchise in Hoboken. He allegedly accepted $750,000 from an investment group as a share in the ownership of World of Beer Hoboken, but failed to use those funds for the project.
Instead, Patel allegedly deposited the investor funds in his own business account and used the money for personal and business expenses unrelated to World of Beer Hoboken.
“When New Jersey residents invest their hard-earned money, they are entitled to nothing less than a fair and honest deal,” Grewal said in a statement. “We are committed to protecting investors by diligently investigating allegations of financial fraud and prosecuting dishonest operators.”
“We urge individuals who believe they have been defrauded to contact the Division of Criminal Justice toll free at 866-TIPS-4CJ,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We will aggressively investigate financial crimes and prosecute those responsible to the full extent of the law.”
Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000.