A Battle Creek man has pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators, in connection to wage fraud.

31-year-old Mehul Patel, also known as Mike Patel, pleaded guilty to Concealing a Material Fact from the Federal Government When Obligated to Disclose It, in US District Court in Grand Rapids Thursday. This is according to the US Attorney's Office in Western Michigan. 

The charge stemmed from a Department of Labor investigation in 2014, that found Patel was violating minimum wage law in paying his hotel employees. He said that he then paid back wages, but it was later determined that he made the employees give him that money back.

Patel owns the Rodeway Inn in Battle Creek, and the Super 8 in Coldwater. His hotels have been investigated before by local authorities, over the allegations that he allowed prostitution to take place.

At sentencing he faces up to 5 years in prison.

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