New York - Dream Hotel founder Vikram Chatwal has beaten the rap on his felony drug-trafficking case that could have landed him in a Florida prison for 20 years, sources familiar with the matter told The New York Post.
The 17th Circuit Court in Broward County “totally dismissed” the case against the Indian American hotelier last month after he completed a rigorous one-year drug-rehabilitation program in New York City, a source said.
Chatwal, who has dated Kate Moss and Gisele Bündchen and been linked to Lindsay Lohan, successfully completed all three phases of the program, which included substance-abuse counseling and drug testing.
“Vikram earnestly strove, this past year, to address addiction issues, and thankfully the Broward County judicial system recognized that Vikram’s arrest was not the product of criminal conduct, but rather the unfortunate medical by-product of substance dependency,” Chatwal’s attorney, Mark Heller, told The New York Post.
Chatwal, 41, was arrested last April at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Airport after TSA agents caught him trying to board a plane with heroin, cocaine and prescription pills, police said.
Agents initially spotted 21 white pills in his carry-on luggage at a screening checkpoint, police said. They later identified them as prescription pills, which Chatwal purchased illegally, he told investigators.
The agents also discovered a small piece of white plastic wrap containing five grams of cocaine in Chatwal’s jacket pocket, police said.
They also recovered an eighth of an ounce of pot in a small plastic baggie.
After posting $13,000 bail, Chatwal was allowed to fly back to New York to attend his drug-treatment program under the close scrutiny of the Florida court.