BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. - The former manager of Budgetel Motel in Cartersville, Shreesh Tiwari, was sentenced to 57 months in prison for trafficking a victim with respect to peonage, slavery, involuntary servitude, or forced labor. The 71-year-old Indian national and legal U.S. permanent resident was also ordered to pay $42,648 in restitution to seven individuals.
Tiwari took over the management of the motel in 2020 and soon hired a victim to work as a maid, providing her with a room. Exploiting the victim's vulnerabilities, including homelessness and a heroin addiction, Tiwari promised to help her regain custody of her child. However, he failed to fulfill these promises.
Instead, Tiwari monitored the victim's interactions, forbidding her from speaking to guests or employees and isolating her from friends and family. He made sexual advances, threatened eviction, and used the victim's drug use as leverage. Tiwari even locked her out of her room at night without warning, ultimately requiring her to perform sex acts to stay at the motel.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leanne Marek and Annalise Peters for the Northern District of Georgia, along with Trial Attorney Kate Hill of the Justice Department’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit. The HSI Dalton Office led the investigation, with support from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force.
Individuals with information about human trafficking are urged to contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. More information on human trafficking can be found at www.humantraffickinghotline.org, and details on the Justice Department’s efforts can be accessed at www.justice.gov/humantrafficking.