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Chinatown Restauranteur Tony Hu Charged With Tax Fraud

By Emma G. Gallegos in Food on May 13, 2016 9:38PM

Tony Hu, Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Chicago Zhao Weiping, Dick Mell and Danny Solis (Photo by Chris Bentley/Chicagoist)

It wasn't so long ago that it felt like Tony Hu could do no wrong, and his rapidly expanding Chinatown empire was branching out of Chicago to locations in Connecticut and Vegas. But in 2014, the FBI raided Hu's Chinatown restaurants, and there were rumors that he would face charges related to tax fraud.

It appears today that those rumors were true. The Sun-Times reports that Hu has been charged with wire fraud and money laundering. Federal prosecutors today said that Hu underreported receipts paid in cash. Eater says he could face 30 years in prison, as well as a $500,000 for those charges.

Few other details have emerged about the charges against the man unofficially known as the Mayor of Chinatown, who is officially named in documents as 48-year-old Hu Xiaojun.

Through the Tony Gourmet Group, Hu owns restaurants in Chicago, Downers Grove and Evanston, including the Lao Sze Chuan franchise. He sold off many of his Chinatown restaurants after the FBI raid, but insisted that was coincidental as he focused on his Lao Sze Chuan franchise and fine dining.

The Chicago Tribune says he will be arraigned at Dirksen U.S. Courthouse.