Motel manager arrested |

Motel manager arrested

A manager of the Economy Inn in South Lake Tahoe was arrested last week and charged with attempting to purchase property he believed to be stolen.

Sureesh Kapadia is being accused of trying to convince employees of Mission Linen, a company that leases and cleans linen for hotels, to steal and then sell him linen.

“Basically this was embezzlement,” said South Lake Tahoe Police Detective Martin Hail. “Drivers from Mission Linen were being solicited to sell linen from the back of their trucks.”

Kapadia, who was contacted Sunday at the Economy Inn, admitted he had been arrested but refused to comment further.

According to Donn Owens, a private investigator hired by Mission Linen, Kapadia is one of several hotel employees who have attempted to “co-opt” drivers.

One former Mission driver, Shane Muntean, admitted last year to selling linen from his truck to a motel owner in South Lake Tahoe. He pleaded guilty to embezzlement. No action was taken against the motel owner.

Owens said a short time later three or four hotel operators, including Kapadia and the owner to who Muntean had sold linen, began to solicit Muntean’s replacement. When that driver came forward, Mission Linen hired Owens, who put the case together and then handed it over to the South Lake Tahoe Police.

“We believe that up until now this has been pretty widespread,” said Owens, who estimated that Mission Linen lost “a couple hundred thousand dollars in that past two years.”

Owens, a 25-year veteran of the FBI, said, “If we or the South Lake Tahoe Police find out about more of this, we will pursue it hard.”

Hail said he had “no idea this was a problem, but obviously we don’t want that stuff going on around here.”

Owens will meet today with Mission Linen’s General Manager Lenny Beck to decide whether to pursue the case further.

“(Kapadia’s arrest) may or may not be the end of it,” Owens said.

Mission Linen is the largest linen service in Nevada. It provides linen for more than 25 hotels in the South Lake Tahoe area, as well as Barton Memorial Hospital.

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