M & K Travel Services CEO Iqbal Randhawa acquitted after 20-year court battle

An investigation was initiated against the Indian-origin man in 2003.

Representative Image. / Unsplash

In a significant legal victory, the Court of Appeal of the State of California, First Appellate District, has acquitted Iqbal S Randhawa, CEO of M & K Travel Corporation, of all criminal charges brought against him by the California Attorney General. This decision completely overturns the lower court's judgment of conviction.

Randhawa was accused of theft and conspiracy. The appellate court's recent ruling concludes a 20-year-long series of legal battles marked by what Randhawa and his legal team describe as relentless and unjust prosecution.

According to court records and testimonies, the California Department of Justice, led by investigator Shirley Weber, initiated the investigation into M & K Travel as early as June or July of 2003. 

During this period, the company and its executives faced multiple indictments, which were allegedly based on falsified evidence and perjured testimonies. Randhawa asserts that these actions were politically motivated, particularly targeting his candidacy for the Fairfield City Council.

“During the trial, investigator Shirley Weber testified that M & K Travel met various regulatory requirements, such as being registered as a Seller of Travel and maintaining the necessary trust and operating accounts. Despite these confirmations, Weber repeatedly suspended M & K Travel's registration multiple times between 2006 and 2017 without citing specific code violations, worsening the company's legal and financial problems,” the travel company said in a statement on June.6.

Randhawa has publicly criticized Weber's role in the investigation, alleging that her testimony during the trial showed a clear bias and personal animosity toward M & K Travel and its officials. He accused Weber of abusing her authority by fabricating consumer complaints and pursuing groundless prosecutions against the company.

Randhawa has now expressed relief at the appellate court's ruling, viewing it as a long-overdue correction of judicial overreach and prosecutorial misconduct. "The Attorney General's fallacious allegations have unjustly tarnished my reputation and integrity," he stated.