Fat Brands CEO says ‘personal history’ prompted investigation by feds

Fatburger CEO Andrew Wiederhorn spoke out for the primary time because it was disclosed final month that the federal authorities is investigating him and his household for alleged monetary crimes.

The previous felon mentioned 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 mentioned 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 underneath investigation by the Securities and Change Fee and the US Lawyer’s Workplace for the Central District of California. 

Andrew Wiederhorn served 15 months in jail for submitting a false tax return and paying out an unlawful gratuity.
CBS through Getty Photographs

The federal government notified the corporate of the investigation in December, when investigators raided the Beverly Grove residence of Wiederhorn’s son, Thayer, and his spouse, Brooke Wiederhorn — hauling away “clothes, digital units, backpacks, wallets, briefcases, purses and luggage,” in response to the courtroom 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 on the lookout for proof of alleged securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, cash laundering and tax evasion, in response to 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.

Brooke Wiederhorn with her face pressed against her mother's.
Brooke Wiederhorn together with her mom Kim Richards, who stars in “The Actual Housewives of Beverly Hills.”
Thayer Wiederhorn with his wife, Brooke, their child and Brooke's mother Kim Richards standing in a barn.
Thayer Wiederhorn along with his spouse, Brooke, their youngster and Brooke’s mom Kim Richards.

On the earnings name, Wiederhorn mentioned the federal government is ‘now formally searching for paperwork regarding these issues from the corporate and me.” 

He additionally complained in regards to the courtroom paperwork being made public as a result of they had been the topic of a sealed courtroom order, he mentioned.

“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 prospects,” he mentioned on the earnings name. “They’re coming into our eating places greater than ever and spending greater than ever earlier than. I sit up for having the ability to put these issues behind us.”

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