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Tony Hu, Chicago's 'Mayor of Chinatown,' Pleads Guilty to Laundering $9.8 Million

Owner of Lao restaurant empire faces 33 to 41 months in prison in plea deal

Tony Hu
Tony Hu
Courtesy of Lao Sze Chuan
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Famed Chinatown restaurateur Tony Hu today has pled guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges, reported the Sun-Times. The 48-year-old Hu, known for his Lao Sze Chuan restaurants, was indicted on Friday after FBI and IRS officials raided his Chinatown restaurants in 2014. He's reached a plea deal with prosecutors to pay state officials $1.087 million in back taxes, according the Tribune.

It's unclear how much prison time Hu will serve. The Sun-Times reports Hu faced 30 years, but would serve 33 to 41 months as part of the 23-page plea deal. The 48-year-old Hu, whose real name is Hu Xiaojun, faced one count each of money laundering and wire fraud, stemming from hiding cash receipts, thus underreporting sales to the government.

Hu, who gained the title "mayor of Chinatown," carried a reputation for his participation in a variety of civic and cultural groups in addition to his once-large empire of Chinese restaurants in Chicagoland, and another in Las Vegas.

Lao Sze Chuan

510 Mason Road, , TX 77450 (281) 665-3668 Visit Website

Lao Sze Chuan

304 Southeast Oak Street, , MN 55414 (612) 886-3906 Visit Website