Four years ago, renowned Chicago restaurateur and chef Tony Hu boasted to the Tribune that his empire of Chinese restaurants would someday be big enough to earn a spot on the New York Stock Exchange.
But in federal court Monday, the man nicknamed "Mayor of Chinatown" for his business and political prowess saw his stock sink to an all-time low.
In a raspy voice, Hu, 48, whose given name is Hu Xiaojun, pleaded guilty to felony fraud and money laundering charges alleging he hid more than $10 million in cash receipts at nine of his restaurants to skirt paying $1.1 million in sales taxes to Illinois.
Hu faces from probation up to 51 months in prison when he is sentenced Aug. 22 by U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve. He also agreed to pay restitution of $1,087,000 to Illinois.
Not sure what this means for his restaurants, but hopefully they're staying open - regardless of the tax things they are pretty damn good.