27 August 2019
Washington: Dinesh Chawla, an Indian-origin developer who previously partnered with the Trump Organization to bring a series of new hotels to the state of Mississippi, has been arrested for allegedly stealing luggage from a Memphis airport, media reports said.
According to Shelby County Jail records in Memphis, Tennessee, Dinesh Chawla, 56, was arrested on August 22 and charged with one count theft of property $1,000 -$2,500 and one count theft of property $2,500 to $10,000, the Mississippi-based Clarion Ledger newspaper reported on Monday.
Chawla was given a $5,000 bond and released the same day.
According to the WREG TV station in Memphis, Chawla was seen taking a suitcase off the baggage claim belt at the Memphis International Airport on August 18.
The police told the station that Chawla put the bag in his vehicle then went back inside to catch a flight.
Police then searched his vehicle and found "several bags that had been stolen", the station reported. The bags "contained thousands of dollars worth of items".
According to WREG, Chawla told the police he stole the bags.
He is one half of Chawla Hotels, a Delta-based company that owns 17 hotels across Mississippi.
In 2017, Mississippi company and hotelier family Chawla Pointe LLC announced a partnership with Trump Hotels. The two companies planned to open SCION hotel at West End in Cleveland in 2018.
A second line of hotels, called American Idea, were expected to open in 2019 in Greenville, Cleveland and Clarksdale. The Chawlas planned to develop the hotels while the Trumps would brand and manage them.
All four hotels were scrapped by the Trump Organization earlier this year, citing the current political climate.