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Chef Tony Hu's Lao Sze Chuan, Other Restaurants Raided by FBI

By  Casey Cora and Josh McGhee | October 24, 2014 12:44pm | Updated on October 24, 2014 7:54pm

 The FBI is raiding locations in Chicago, including restaurants owned by world-famous chef Tony Hu.
Chef Tony Hu's Lao Sze Chuan Restaurant Raided by FBI
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CHINATOWN — The FBI raided a series of locations in Chicago, including restaurants owned by world-famous chef Tony Hu.

A spokeswoman for the FBI acknowledged the raids Friday.

"I can confirm that search warrants are being executed at a number of locations as part of an ongoing investigation," special agent Joan Hyde said. Hyde said there were "no arrests involved with today’s activity."

Hyde would not go into details of where the raids were or what information was being sought.

But FBI and law enforcement officials could be seen Friday afternoon inside Hu's uberpopular Lao Sze Chuan at 2172 S. Archer Ave. A sign on the door said the eatery was closed to guests.

 Lau Yunnan reopened Friday after being searched by FBI Agents.
Lau Yunnan reopened Friday after being searched by FBI Agents.
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DNAinfo/Josh McGhee

They could also be seen at his other restaurants, including Lao Shanghai, 2163 S. China Pl., and Lao You Ju, 2002 S. Wentworth Ave. There, a law enforcement officer was searching around near a computer hard drive, while officials could be seen in one of the venue's karaoke rooms.

Two other nearby Hu-owned restaurants, including Lao Yunnan, 2109 S. China Pl., and Lao Ma La, 2017 S. Well St., were also closed.

Lao Sze Chuan and the other restaurants reopened Friday afternoon. An employee inside Lao Sze Chuan had no comment.

Hu owns more than ten restaurants in the city, suburbs and other states. He could not be reached for comment.

ABC7 News was first to report the raids.

Officials with the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, which Hu is a member of, said they were unaware of the reason for the searches.

Hu is omnipresent in Chinatown social and civic circles and has appeared alongside Mayor Rahm Emanuel and city dignitaries at various neighborhood ribbon cuttings.

While his restaurants feature different types of Chinese cuisine, they all share a common feature: many photos of Hu shaking hands and sharing meals with high-profile business leaders and politicians.

Last month, Hu opened an opulent offshoot of Lao Sze Chuan in Las Vegas. In an interview with a local news website there, Hu said Emanuel joked with him, saying, 'I'm the mayor of Chicago, but you're the mayor of Chinatown.'"

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