Hotel CEO accused of stealing baggage

Dinesh Chawla

A prominent Mississippi businessman faces charges after being accused of stealing luggage from a Memphis airport.

Dinesh Chawla is charged with felony theft of property.

According to arrest records, Chawla was seen taking a suitcase off the baggage claim belt last week. Police said he put the bag into his vehicle, returned back into the airport and caught a flight out. While Chawla was gone, the report says, his vehicle was towed away, and police found several stolen bags, which contained thousands of dollars’ worth of items.

Chawla was arrested when he returned to the airport on Thursday.

Police said he confessed to stealing the bags.

Chawla is the CEO of Chawla Hotels, which owns 17 hotels in Mississippi. In 2017, the New York Times published a profile on Chawla. The story was a follow-up to the announcement that Chawla, and his younger brother Suresh Chawla, formed a partnership Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump to build four hotels in the Mississippi Delta.

One of those properties, to be named Scion, involved the redesign of a hotel the Chawlas were building in Cleveland. With the Trump organization second-guessing just about every detail, Dinesh Chawla said in the NYT profile, the project came to a standstill. Now, more than two years after the partnership was announced, that hotel remains unfinished.

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