Sant Chatwal escapes prison time for campaign finance fraud

Judge sentences hotelier to three years of probation, 1,000 hours of community service
December 19, 2014 10:35AM

Sant Singh Chatwal, the international hotelier and restaurateur who pleaded guilty to running a phony political fundraiser that gave money to several lawmakers, including Hillary Clinton, will not be going to prison.

Chatwal, 70, was sentenced to three years of probation instead, the New York Times reported. In addition, Chatwal was fined $500,000 and has to perform 1,000 hours of community service.

Chatwal is best known for developing the Dream Hotel in Chelsea and the Time Hotel in the Theatre District. A federal judge in Brooklyn described Chatwal’s acts as an “aberrance,” according to the newspaper. The judge appeared to be swayed by 272 letters sent on Chatwal’s behalf claiming that his two grown sons are “dependent” on their father, the newspaper reported also.

Chatwal is the president of Hampshire Hotels and Resorts and owns 12 hotels and 34 restaurants and bars. In April, Chatwal plead guilty to raising more than $180,000 between 2007 and 2011 through straw donors and later paying them back. Initially, a plea agreement called for a sentence of 46 to 57 months, but new calculations on Thursday reduced that to 15 to 21 months, according to the newspaper. [NYT]Claire Moses