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Business owner targeted in money laundering sting


http://www.illinoishomepage.net/news/local-news/business-owner-targeted-in-money-laundering-sting/1120792377

 

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) -- Friday, police revealed they sold an area business owner electronics in order to catch him laundering money.

 

Kirit Patel owns Krispy Krunchy Chicken, on Bradley Avenue, in Champaign. He's accused of using the restaurant to buy stolen goods including cellphones, bottles of designer cologne, digital cameras and more.

 

Someone pretended to sell stolen good to Patel, but they were actually property of the Champaign Police Department.

 

Investigators started setting up controlled sales in January to catch him committing a crime. They sent someone into his store several times with audio and video wires.

 

The person would pretend to sell Patel stolen property, even warning him not to take the items to a pawn shop because they could be tracked.

 

Police say Patel would offer less money for anything locked or blacklisted. If a phone is blacklisted, it means it's been reported stolen and can't be activated in the U.S. That's when police say they caught him.

 

Authorities did this several more times, even selling him electronics with tracking devices, which led them to his home. Inside, they found up to $75,000 of stolen property, including three computers and a phone previously reported to police as stolen. They're still investigating the rest of the electronics.

 

Patel has previous charges including several DUI's, possession of drug paraphernalia and obstructing justice. His bond is set at $10,000.