Nirav Patel raised hundreds of thousands of dollars that he said he would invest in opening a Hoboken beer palace. Instead, authorities say, the 39-year-old city resident spent the money on himself and other, unrelated expenses, according to an indictment announced Thursday by Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal.
Patel, who was indicted Wednesday on a charge of theft by deception, began raising money to open World of Beer Hoboken in 2014. He received $750,000 for the venture from an investment group, according to investigators from the state Division of Criminal Justice.
An investor himself, Patel specializes in bars and restaurants in New Jersey and New York, authorities said.
"When New Jersey residents invest their hard-earned money, they are entitled to nothing less than a fair and honest deal,” said Grewal. “We are committed to protecting investors by diligently investigating allegations of financial fraud and prosecuting dishonest operators.”
Patel, who will be arraigned in Hudson County, faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $150,000 if found guilty.
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