Norfolk, Va. - The owner of the M Star Hotel in Ocean View that was destroyed by a fire in August took a plea deal in Norfolk General District Court on Tuesday.
Kirit Amin pleaded guilty to two counts of letting people stay in the hotel for longer than 30 days, which is against city code. He also pleaded guilty of two counts of smoke detectors not being installed properly.
According to the court website, he was originally facing over 60 violations.
After court was adjourned, Amin repeatedly told NewsChannel 3 that he was not at fault.
"We did not do anything wrong but just to avoid the cost, that is what we did here and we have a lot of them," he said. "We had no bad intentions. We did nothing wrong."
Norfolk Fire Department leaders say they still don't know the cause of the two-alarm fire that destroyed the hotel and forced dozens of people to find another place to stay.
When NewsChannel 3 arrived on the scene that day, several people said they did not hear a smoke detector alarm.
City leaders issued NewsChannel 3 a statement:
"Kirit Amin plead guilty today to 4 charges—2 counts of exceeding the 30 day stay requirement in a hotel and 2 counts of smoke alarms not installed properly. He was sentenced to a maximum fine of $2,500 fine on each charge, for a total of $10,000 fine, which was suspended, he was placed on probation for 2 years, he was ordered to comply with all hotel codes if he reopens, and he was ordered to pay the costs of the criminal investigation ($625.00) as restitution to the city. The remaining charges were nol prossed which means we can reopen them if we have any future issues."
However, Amin says he doesn't know the plans for the future of the hotel and refused to discuss what happened to the people who were staying in the hotel.