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Famed Chicago restaurateur gets prison time for tax evasion

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Famed Chicago restaurateur Tony Hu was sentenced on Friday to a year and a day in prison and fined $100,000 for his efforts to hide revenues and avoid paying as much as $1 million in sales taxes.

Federal authorities say Hu hid as much as $10 million in sales over a five-year period from nine restaurants. Prosecutors have said the operations were generating $40 million in revenues, but Hu and his family had doctored receipts and kept two sets of books to hide the true volume. The FBI had seized records in October 2014 and charged the China-born restaurateur with tax evasion in the spring of 2015.

Hu, age 49, pleaded guilty to the charges in May as part of a deal that spared members of his family from prosecution.

Hu was required to repay the $1 million he owed in taxes, a sum he covered by selling some of his restaurants. His company’s website indicates that Hu and his family still operate 14 restaurants.

Hu, known as the mayor of Chicago’s Chinatown because of his success, had planned to duplicate his high-volume restaurants in such cities as Las Vegas and New York.

The concepts include Lao Sze Chuan and Lao Beijing.

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