A businessman linked to the warehouse where a Chicago firefighter plunged to his death has received a string of municipal violations and a series of fines for “dangerous and unsafe conditions” at other properties he has managed or owned.

Jatin Patel has been fined thousands of dollars over the past decade for an array of code violations discovered by the city, according to court documents.

Patel, who manages the company Anilroshi that was renovating the Southeast Side brick warehouse where firefighter Daniel Capuano died Dec. 14, was cited at other properties for failure to secure a vacant building, possible rat infestations, uncut weeds and inadequate flooring, according to documents filed in Cook County Circuit Court.

Construction work at the site where Capuano died was unauthorized and outside the scope of building permits, according to the city’s building department, which found the warehouse unsafe and wants it demolished. Capuano, 43, died from injuries he suffered in a fall down an open elevator shaft inside the building at 9213 S. Baltimore Ave. while he fought a small but smoky fire that made it difficult to see.

Capuano’s wife filed a wrongful death suit against Anilroshi, claiming the company was negligent for having construction work done in violation of city regulations.

Owners agree to demolition of building where firefighter died

Owners agree to demolition of building where firefighter died

The warehouse where firefighter Daniel Capuano suffered a fatal fall Dec. 14 will be demolished, attorneys for the building owner and the city told a judge Wednesday at a court hearing. And now the city wants the adjacent building torn down after inspectors said they uncovered safety problems next…

The warehouse where firefighter Daniel Capuano suffered a fatal fall Dec. 14 will be demolished, attorneys for the building owner and the city told a judge Wednesday at a court hearing. And now the city wants the adjacent building torn down after inspectors said they uncovered safety problems next…

(Patrick M. O’Connell)

Patel is not named in the lawsuit related to the Baltimore Avenue warehouse, but his name is listed with the company on the service list for the city’s emergency motion to demolish the warehouse filed in circuit court the week of the fire. Patel also signed as the purchaser of the property for Anilroshi in 2014, according to real estate records. Anilroshi was formed as a limited liability company in 2012, according to Illinois secretary of state records, and Patel is listed as the manager.

City and county records link Patel to at least a half-dozen properties in Chicago dating to 2006, where he was cited for building code violations and failure to pay fines levied for those violations. The city took him to administrative hearings to collect and in some cases moved to garnish his wages for the money.

It is unclear why Patel did not pay the fines, but at one point, he failed to pay $540 for property violations despite a balance in his bank account of about $99,439, according to court documents.

Among the violations linked to property Patel managed or owned, according to complaints filed in Cook County Circuit Court:

•Citations for failing to secure and maintain a vacant building at houses in the 6900 block of South Bishop Street and 2100 block of West 71st Place. He was ordered to pay fines in 2009 of $4,340 for each property.

•Citation for violating the city’s unsafe property statute in 2006 for a house in the 7900 block of South Marshfield Avenue, and a fine of $1,000 for an open and vandalized building with trash on the property, a rotting porch and a leaky roof.

•Citation in 2013 for dangerous conditions at an apartment building at the corner of South Sangamon Street and West Marquette Road. There, the city said, the building’s floor was warped and the heating, plumbing and electrical systems were stripped and inoperable.

Patel also has been fined for code violations at several other properties.


Patel, a pharmacist who lives in Wheaton, did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Patrick Cummings, the lawyer for Anilroshi, also did not respond to requests for comment. In the week after the firefighter’s death, Cummings said Patel was “crushed” by the situation.

“He is praying for the Capuano family,” Cummings said. “He knows the enormity of their loss.”

At a pair of building court hearings, Cummings said: “My client continues to be concerned about this tragedy.”

One of Patel’s former landlords, Hassan Azarpira, said Patel is a good guy who always helped out his customers.

“If I have a couple of million dollars and have to leave it with somebody, he’s definitely one of my candidates,” Azarpira said recently. “The only problem Jay had was that he was a little bit ahead of himself in business.”

For the Baltimore Avenue property, Anilroshi secured building permits through the city’s “easy permit” process for drywall, concrete and window work, according to building department records. But the building department said work being done inside went well beyond that, leading to holes in the floor, unprotected stairwells and the open elevator shaft.

An easy permit can be quickly obtained from the city in one day but is designed for only small and simple projects that do not require the submission of architectural plans. Last year, the city issued 34,700 easy permits out of a total of 45,000 building permits.

While he has managed property in the city, Patel, a registered pharmacist since 1989, also has operated a pharmacy, usually named J Discount, at several locations in Chicago — most recently at 3100 E. 92nd St., across the parking lot from the Baltimore Avenue warehouse. He ran J Discount at locations on North Avenue and North Western Avenue before moving the operations south.

J Discount Pharmacy on Western Avenue received $1.25 million in Medicaid reimbursements in fiscal year 2014 and $976,403 in 2015, according to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

In 2007, Patel was ordered by state officials to return $1.5 million in Medicaid overpayments. He then claimed that a fundraiser for then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich sought a campaign donation as a form of protection from state investigators in the Medicaid matter. Patel told state police, and later the Tribune, that he gave the fundraiser a check for $25,000 but immediately had pangs of regret and ordered his bank to stop payment. The fundraiser acknowledged soliciting and collecting the donation but denied he traded it for interference, saying he told Patel to contact an attorney about his legal troubles. Patel has not been charged with any wrongdoing, and it is unclear how the Medicaid overpayments situation was resolved.

The Chicago office of the Drug Enforcement Administration served an administrative warrant on J Discount’s former location at 1344 N. Western Ave. in 2011, seeking the pharmacy’s records, reports and files for regulatory purposes. The DEA matter is an open case, a spokesman said.

In the affidavit filed in federal court, the DEA said a review of the Illinois Department of Human Services’ Prescription Monitoring Program “revealed questionable prescribing practices of a number of physicians and subsequently dispensing practices by J Discount.” According to the filing in federal court, J Discount bought “significant quantities of various formulations of hydrocodone and codeine products,” which are “addictive prescription painkillers and are highly popular with drug abusers.”

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