CHICAGO —(ENEWSPF)—February 12, 2018
By: Rosemary Piser
Attila Gyulai, a Chicago restaurateur was charged today with misappropriating funds and swindling investors in his West Loop eatery. Gyulai, along with a relative owned a majority stake in Embeya restaurant and allegedly used company funds to pay personal expenses and illegally pocketed cash from investors, according to the criminal complaint and affidavit filed today in U.S. District Court in Chicago. According to the complaint, from approximately 2011 to 2016, Gyulai misappropriated at least $300,000, to the detriment of co-owners and investors, the complaint states.
Embeya, which was located in the 500 block of West Randolph Street in Chicago, closed in 2016.
The complaint charges Gyulai, 45, with wire fraud. In addition to the complaint, the Court also authorized a warrant for Gyulai’s arrest.
In order to open the restaurant and obtain a bank loan, Gyulai represented to shareholders that he and his relative had invested $140,000 of their own funds. According to the complaint, Gyulai borrowed those funds from family and friends, and in 2013, used company funds to pay them back, while concealing the payments from other shareholders.
The following year, Gyulai allegedly made payments to himself and his relative totaling approximately $140,000 as a purported return of their initial capital, even though they had not invested their own money in the restaurant. As a result, Gyulai and his relative double the initial investment amount, to the detriment of other shareholders. He also allegedly used company funds for personal stock trading during the operation of the restaurant.
The complaint indicates that not long before Embeya closed, Gyulai wired $103,750 from the restaurant’s corporate account to an account held overseas. The money was the amount of funds remaining in Embeya’s account at the time. Gyulai left the United States soon after transferring the funds.
The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.