Operator of seven IHOP restaurants being accused of money laundering, mail fraud, identity theft and hiring illegal immigrants who used fake or stolen identities

TOLEDO, Ohio , May 23, 2012 () – A federal indictment is accusing the operator of six IHOP restaurants in Ohio and one in Indiana of cooking up a plan to hide profits from IHOP's parent company.

The indictment unsealed Wednesday says 17 others, including some restaurant managers, also took part in a scheme that led to losses of more than $3 million.

The FBI raided six IHOP restaurants in the Toledo area and one in Evansville, Ind., in September.

Authorities would not say what prompted the searches until Wednesday, when authorities arrested 18 people, mostly in the Toledo area.

The man who owned and operated the restaurants is accused of money laundering, mail fraud and identity theft. He's also accused of hiring illegal immigrants who used fake or stolen identities.

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