2 arrested for allegedly extorting man over stolen lotto tickets
By Kate Burgess, Reporter
DEBARY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
Two men are facing extortion charges, after a weeks-long investigation in Volusia County.
Volusia County Sheriff’s deputies tell FOX 35 that it all started when one of the employees at the BP on Charles Richard Beall Blvd. in DeBary started stealing lottery tickets. When his boss found out, deputies said instead of turning the employee in, the boss tried to extort him for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
According to the police report, the boss demanded a quarter-of-a-million dollars from Risheenbhai Patel. When Patel said he couldn’t pay, his boss, Ketan Patel, who shares the same last name but isn’t related, allegedly said he’d accept $110,000 or he would have Risheenbhai and his sister deported.
Risheenbhai told his boss all he had was $45,000 in a safe deposit box at a Lake Mary Chase Bank, which deputies said Ketan forced his employee to hand over. That’s when Risheenbhai went to attorney Richard Hornsby for help. Hornsby called the Volusia County Sheriff’s office, and deputies started recording conversations and gathering evidence against Ketan.
“What we learned here is that two wrongs don’t make a right, so when the employer tried to shake him down, we’re doing the right thing by exposing the employer’s crimes,” said attorney Richard Hornsby.
We tried on Wednesday to get a comment from Ketan Patel, even going to his home. No one answered the door.
Patel and another man, Chirag Patel, who deputies said helped in the shake down, were arrested on extortion charges Tuesday. They both bonded out of jail.
The employee will likely face charges for stealing those lotto tickets is on the hook for the $5,200 in winnings, but his lawyer said both Risheenbhai and his sister are in the United States legally, and won’t be deported.