Fatburger CEO Andrew Wiederhorn spoke out for the primary time since it was disclosed final month that the federal authorities is investigating him and his household for alleged monetary crimes.
The previous felon stated on a Fats Manufacturers earnings name this week that “given my private historical past it doesn’t shock me that the federal government will look into allegations. He stated that “being a public firm and a public determine attracts its share of visibility.”
About 20 years in the past, Wiederhorn served 15 months in jail for submitting a false tax return and paying an unlawful gratuity to a enterprise affiliate. He paid $2 million in restitution on the time — although the board of his firm Fog Cutter Capital paid him $2 million whereas he was behind bars — prompting Nasdaq to delist Fog Cutter.
He described the present investigation as a “distraction personally,” saying that it “primarily focuses on me and my household” and that “any financial settlement goes to Fats Manufacturers,” which isn’t the topic of the investigation.
In February, the corporate disclosed in a regulatory submitting that its CEO is below investigation by the Securities and Alternate Fee and the US Lawyer’s Workplace for the Central District of California.
The federal government notified the corporate of the investigation in December, when investigators raided the Beverly Grove house of Wiederhorn’s son, Thayer, and his spouse, Brooke Wiederhorn — hauling away “clothes, digital gadgets, backpacks, wallets, briefcases, purses and luggage,” in accordance with the court docket doc.
Brooke is the daughter of “The Actual Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Kim Richards, and her 2014 wedding to Thayer was featured on the present.
The federal government was in search of proof of alleged securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, cash laundering and tax evasion, in accordance with the search warrent.
The federal government alleges that funds had been improperly exchanged between Wiederhorn’s Fog Cutter Capital Group and Fats Manufacturers, the corporate that owns Fatburger, Johnny Rockets and a dozen different manufacturers and that was merged with Fog Cutter in 2020.
On the earnings name, Wiederhorn stated the federal government is ‘now formally searching for paperwork regarding these issues from the corporate and me.”
He additionally complained concerning the court docket paperwork being made public as a result of they had been the topic of a sealed court docket order, he stated.
“Our enterprise is promoting burgers, shakes and fries, pizza and meatballs, cookies and ice cream, steaks and hen wings and 29-degree chilly beer to our clients,” he stated on the earnings name. “They’re coming into our eating places greater than ever and spending greater than ever earlier than. I stay up for with the ability to put these issues behind us.”