Former IHOP operator pleads guilty

TOLEDO (AP) — The former operator of seven IHOP restaurants in Ohio and Indiana, including Findlay’s, has pleaded guilty to what the government called a scheme to hide profits from IHOP’s parent company.
Investigators said the plan involved hiring illegal immigrants, manipulating sales figures, and underreporting wages in order to avoid paying taxes along with royalties to the corporation.
Tarek Elkafrawi, 57, of suburban Toledo, owned or operated six IHOP restaurants in northwestern Ohio and one in Evansville, Ind.
He pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Toledo to 53 charges, including conspiracy to commit money laundering, alien harboring, identity theft, and arson. His wife, Kelly Elkafrawi, 51, pleaded guilty to one count each of money laundering and alien harboring.
Elkafrawi’s attorney, Rick Kerger, said he and his client achieved a resolution that served everyone’s interests.
A sentencing date has not been set.

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