Saturday, August 17, 2019
Home Crime News Williams motel owner pleads guilty to price gouging

Williams motel owner pleads guilty to price gouging

A Williams woman pleaded guilty to price gouging during the Mendocino Complex fires in the Colusa County Superior Court last week, and was ordered pay substantial fines and return the illegal profits to the victims of the price gouging.

Investigators from the District Attorney’s office began investigating complaints of price gouging at various Williams hotels on Aug. 7, including the Capri Motel. On August 24, investigators received a complaint from a resident of Upper Lake, who stayed at the Capri Motel with his elderly mother and two dogs after being evacuated. The investigators obtained a search warrant for records from both the Capri Motel and the City of Williams in Aug. 30, and charges were ultimately filed against the owners of the motel, Manisha and Vinaykumar Patel, on Oct. 10. 

Manisha Patel pleaded guilty to a single charge of price gouging during a declared state of emergency on Nov. 14. As part of her sentence, Patel was required to pay substantial fines and to return the illegal profits to the victims of the price gouging. 

Colusa County District Attorney Matthew Beauchamp said that there were multiple victims. Charges against Vinaykumar Patel were dismissed because he doesn’t have an ownership interest in the motel, Beauchamp added.

In a statement, Beauchamp emphasized that it is illegal to charge a price for essential goods and services that is more than 10 percent higher than the price a merchant or hotel owner was charging immediately before an emergency is declared.

“We have again had a government emergency declared because of the ‘Camp Fire’ that is impacting the City of Paradise and surrounding areas,” Beauchamp said in the statement. “Some of the refugees fleeing that fire have traveled to, or through Colusa.”

Suspected price gouging can be reported to the Colusa County District Attorney’s Office by calling Chief Investigator Dave Salm at (530) 458-0545.■

Recent News

Princeton schools take flight 

The Princeton Eagles soared into a new school year last Thursday.  The small district along the Sacramento River serves about 140 students from Glenn and...

Maxwell Unified has three new teachers

Maxwell Unified School District added three new teachers to its staff for the 2019-20 school year, including a first-year teacher at the high school.  Mickele...

Local Government

Public & Legal Notices

Notice Of Public Hearing Before The City Of Williams City Council

CITY OF WILLIAMS NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING BEFORE THE CITY OF WILLIAMS CITY COUNCIL NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the City Council of the City of...

Notice Of Public Hearing To Consider The Implementation Of The Process Changing The Terms Of Williamson Act Contracts

COUNTY OF COLUSA NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROCESS CHANGING THE TERMS OF WILLIAMSON ACT CONTRACTS NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT the...

City Of Colusa Planning Commission – Notice Of Public Hearing

CITY OF COLUSA PLANNING COMMISSION  NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT THE PLANNING COMMISSION will hold a Public Hearing in the City Council...

Colusa County Board Of Supervisors – Notice Of Public Hearing

COLUSA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT the Colusa County Board of Supervisors will hold a Public Hearing on...

Colusa County Board Of Supervisors – Notice Of Public Hearing

COLUSA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT the Colusa County Board of Supervisors will hold a Public Hearing on...