The CEO of Fat Brands, the parent company for the popular fast-food chains Johnny Rockets and Fatburger is again under investigation for financial crimes.
As the New York Post reported, Fat Brands CEO Andrew Wiederhorn is being investigated by the Securities Exchange Commission and by the U.S. Attorneys' office for the Central District of California, according to a regulatory filing from the company.
As Los Angeles Magazine reported, the Beverly Hills, California resident pleaded guilty in 2004 in federal court to charges that he paid an illegal gratuity to an associate and filed a false tax return. Wiederhorn spent 15 months in federal prison and was given a $2 million fine.
Federal authorities are investigating Fat Brands CEO Andy Wiederhorn for fraud and money laundering https://t.co/XFaqWlnzlt @JoannaFantozzi pic.twitter.com/GeD3Tjzbi0
— Restaurant News (@NRNonline) February 23, 2022
Investigators are looking for documents related to the company's merger with Fog Cutter Capital Group. As L.A. Mag reported, the day before he pleaded guilty, his company Fog Cutter Capital paid Wiederhorn a $2 million bonus and made an agreement to keep him on their payroll while he was in prison.
According to documents reported by the Los Angeles Times, federal agents raided the home of Wiederhorn's son Thayer, which is in the Los Angeles area of Beverly Grove. He shares the home with his wife Brooke Wiederhorn who is the oldest daughter of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Kim Richards. Brooke was not named in court records.
Agents took away phones, tax documents, digital storage devices, and other records from the home, court documents detailed.
As industry publication Nation's Restaurant News reported, a November affidavit showed that the allegations against Wiederhorn include “devising and executing a fraudulent scheme” which resulted in laundering money and tax evasion totaling millions of dollars.
Financial records appear to show that several large purchases were made, and they were paid for mainly out of a business account that is associated with Fat Brands, including one purchase record of $150,000 for a Rolls Royce and another charge of $100,000 for a divorce attorney.