An Illinois man who previously co-owned one of the most popular restaurants in Chicago was arrested in Spain on charges of misappropriation of funds and wire fraud. The man previously owned Embeya, an Asian restaurant that won accolades for its innovative design and cuisine along with the restaurant’s chef. Despite its popularity, the restaurant suddenly closed in the summer of 2016. After the sudden closure, the man and his wife seemingly disappeared, leaving their car behind and parked outside their home in River West. After two weeks, police ticketed the car before impounding it; by that time, the two had apparently been outside the country for some time.
According to Cook County Circuit Court records, the man and his wife took $1.5 million from the restaurant, which they were ordered to pay back. After they left the country, the couple were last thought to be living in Tulum, Mexico. The FBI asked for an arrest warrant for the man in February 2018 on allegations of misappropriation of at least $300,000 and wire fraud. FBI agents said that there was probable cause to believe that the man took money from the restaurant for his personal use without permission.
The search for the man moved to Valencia, Spain, in December 2018, after he was reportedly spotted at the airport after arriving on a flight from Ecuador. The man had reportedly come to stay for a 10-day vacation in a private home.
White-collar crimes can be complex and confusing, especially for people not involved in the daily operation of a business. In some cases, innocent parties could be left taking the blame for others’ actions. A criminal defense lawyer may help people facing charges of embezzlement, fraud or money laundering to present a defense before trial and in the courtroom.
Source: Chicago Business, “Former Embeya owner arrested in Spain: report“, Jan Parr, 01/01/2019