Calif. motel owner suspected of fraud surrenders

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Associated Press

Posted on February 3, 2010 at 3:02 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 3 at 3:02 AM

VICTORVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A California motel owner has turned herself in after authorities say she cheated the travel Web site Orbitz.com out of more than $800,000.

Ashka Patel, who was the subject of a three-month investigation, surrendered to police Tuesday.

Police say Orbitz.com notified them in November that $848,000 had been fraudulently paid to Patel's business, the Travel Inn Motel in Victorville, from February to November.

Police say they searched the motel and found bank records that showed $700,000 in various accounts. Investigators say some of the money was also funneled through a Days Inn that Patel owns.

Her attorney says Patel is expected to be out of jail Tuesday evening after posting bail, which a judge set at $300,000.

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Information from: Daily Press, http://www.vvdailypress.com

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