Convenience store owner forfeits $300,000 in racketeering plea - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

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Convenience store owner forfeits $300,000 in racketeering plea

Sharad Patel Sharad Patel
Yogeshkumer Barot (on right) Yogeshkumer Barot (on right)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The owner and clerk of a convenience store forfeited $307,000 in a guilty plea Monday.

Officials said Sharad Patel and Yogeshkumer Barot pleaded guilty to racketeering, forgery, sale and dispensing of dangerous drugs, and theft by taking.

Prosecutors said the two were selling losing lottery tickets to customers, allowing others to sell illegal drugs inside stores, and selling a Viagra knock-off without a prescription known as "Red Dawg."

Investigators said the two admitted that they were secretly scratching lottery tickets so they could tell if they were winners or not. Then they would cash the winners, and then sell tickets they knew were losing to customers.

Agents also seized thousands of "nickel" and "dime" bags, marijuana grinders and scales, and hundreds of dollars in counterfeit cash.

Patel and Barot were sentenced to five years probation in addition to forfeiting the cash. According to the plea deal, they must sell two convenience stores, located at 705 South Slappey Blvd. and 713 South Slappey Blvd.

Any buyer of either property cannot reopen the buildings as convenience stores for the next five years.

"The offer of pretrial intervention is an indication that the state recognized that my clients have no criminal history whatsoever, no history of any trouble at all, and are very unlikely to be repeat offenders," Patel's attorney Paul Oeland said.

Officials said this was the largest forfeiture ever made in Dougherty County.

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