Hotelier Sant Chatwal admits to campaign finance fraud

Dream Hotel developer pleads guilty to violating US election law

TRD New York /
Apr.April 17, 2014 04:07 PM

International hotelier and restaurateur Sant Singh Chatwal pleaded guilty to running a phony political fundraiser that gave money to several lawmakers, including Hillary Clinton.

The 70-year-old Chatwal, best known known in Manhattan for developing the luxe Dream Hotel Downtown and the celebrity hotspot Time Hotel in the Theatre District, admitted in Brooklyn Federal Court to enlisting a ring of fake financiers in order to bypass donation limits, as well as tampering with a witnesses, according to reports.

Although federal campaign finance law bars donations to political action committees of more than $5,000, Chatwal raised more than $180,000 between 2007 and 2011 by setting up “straw” donors and later reimbursing them, according to the New York Daily News. Federal prosecutors alleged Chatwal used his employees, business associates, and even contractors who worked on his developments in the scheme, the New York Observer reported.

Funds also went to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and a Florida congressmen, who claim they were unaware of Chatwal’s criminal activity, the article said.

The hotelier also reportedly tried to bribe an informant to mislead FBI and IRS agents closing in on the investigation. Chatwal could spend up to five years in prison when Federal Judge Leo Glasser sentences him. He also faces hundreds of thousands in fines and a $1 million in restitution, the Daily News said. [NYDN] and [NYO] Angela Hunt

Related Articles

30 West 31st Street and 52 West 36th Street (Credit: Google Maps)

South Korean firm snaps up two Midtown hotels for $137M

Brookfield Property Group CEO Brian Kingston and 652 11th Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Brookfield drops $83M on Hell’s Kitchen hotel

Mensur Cekic, Hudson Yards’ director of residences

From private tutors to meditation sessions, inside NYC’s new amenities battle

Lightstone Group CEO David Lichtenstein and Moxy Chelsea at 105 W 28th Street (Credit: Lightstone and Facebook)

Lightstone gave its neighbors $7M to build a hotel. Then the neighbors secretly went to war, suit claims.

Dream Hotel Group's Sant Singh Chatwal (left) and Charles Holzer (right) and 355 West 16th Street (Credit: Getty Images and Google Maps)

Land under Dream Downtown hotel sells
for $175M

Here are the numbers behind Michael Dell’s record purchase of the Boca Raton Resort

Long Island’s hotel market could be headed for a downturn

This obscure Caribbean island is a favorite among the super wealthy