Feds Are Looking Into Alleged Dirty Dealings By Fatburger's CEO

The FBI is currently looking into financial crimes committed by Andrew Wiederhorn, the CEO of FAT Brands, which comprises Fatburger, Johnny Rockets, Marble Slab Creamery, and more, according to the Los Angeles Times. He's accused of tax evasion and receiving "millions of dollars in sham loans," among other offenses. Additionally, the FBI alleges that Wiederhorn paid for expensive personal luxuries through an affiliate of FAT Brands, and he used his son's PayPal account to earn American Express points on company money. Another detail that caught the eyes of investigators was Wiederhorn's 2018 tax return, which listed his monthly income as double what he said it was when applying for a car loan that same year.

The LA Times reports that "no charges have been filed against any person or against FAT Brands," and Wiederhorn's attorney recently stated to the public that he denies any wrongdoing on the part of his client. Further, FAT Brands is "fully cooperating" with the FBI's ongoing investigation.

Andrew Wiederhorn has a history of financial wrongdoing

This is not the first time that federal investigators have combed through Andrew Wiederhorn's documents in search of fraud. As the Franchise Times wrote in 2018 profile of the CEO, Wiederhorn once spent more than a year in prison "for paying an illegal gratuity to a pension fund manager and for filing a false tax return." However, he didn't seem especially contrite about the situation, telling the publication, "Things happen in life. You have two choices. You can curl up in a ball or you can get off the canvas and back into the ring." While Wiederhorn was in prison, his company, FogCutter Capital (which ran Fatburger at the time) paid him a salary of $4.6 million, a move that prompted Nasdaq to delist the company.

Considering his history, it may be unsurprising that investigators would feel compelled to look into Wiederhorn's finances. The Los Angeles Times, which reported on the recent investigation based on court records, shares that the FBI has not yet publicly confirmed its investigation of Wiederhorn.