Former IHOP employee speaks out - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Former IHOP employee speaks out

  • More from WTOL 11More>>

  • Northwest OH IHOP raid serves up 18 indictments

    Northwest OH IHOP raid serves up 18 indictments

    Wednesday, May 23 2012 8:48 PM EDT2012-05-24 00:48:12 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2012 11:23 PM EDT2012-05-24 03:23:56 GMT
    TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - The investigation into 7 IHOP restaurants began more than three years ago based on a tip to the FBI culminated in the arrests of 18 people early Wednesday morning, and theMore >>
    The investigation into 7 IHOP restaurants began more than three years ago based on a tip to the FBI culminated in the arrests of 18 people early Wednesday morning, and the release of a 64-count federal indictment.More >>
  • BREAKING NEWS

    18 indicted in IHOP raid case

    18 indicted in IHOP raid case

    TOLEDO, OH (TOLEDO NEWS NOW) - The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will be holding a news conference at 1:30 p.m. ET Wednesday to announce indictments in the area IHOP investigation.Toledo News Now'sMore >>
    Eighteen people have been indicted on charges related to raids at Toledo area IHOP restaurants in September of 2011.More >>

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - While the indictments may come as a shock to IHOP customers, a former employee is speaking out.

Richard Bethel is angry, saying he worked there and paid for meals for his family. He wonders where the money went. He says he is also sad that a place he enjoyed going to work at every morning has come to this.  

Bethel described the scene at the Talmadge Road IHOP on September 20, 2011 as federal agents raided it after being tipped off to fraud:

"The whole troop came in there and he says ‘There's the cops and they aren't here to eat!' So it was a scary feeling."

Bethel was a cook at the popular eatery, and says he went through 90 minutes of questioning by the FBI. He says he is stunned by today's indictments:

"I wouldn't believe it. The only thing I had in the back of my mind was the illegal workers. Because I did work with a couple of illegal workers at that time. [So you knew that was going on?] Yeah. Definitely, especially when the guys don't speak English."

Bethel says he knows several names on the indictment, but feels managers of the restaurants were set up to take the fall.


RELATED: Northwest OH IHOP raid serves up 18 indictments

SLIDESHOW: IHOP suspect mug shots

MORE DETAILS: Breaking down the IHOP indictment

PDF: View the full indictment


Bethel was also asked about the accused ringleader of the fraud operation, Tarek Elkafrawi.

"And he was the man who ultimately signed my paycheck so I had to respect the man. I thought he has a good business sense, really. And now I don't know. I don't know. If this is all true then lock him up for years," he said.

Bethel says he left the IHOP a few weeks after the September raids. He says his hours were cut when the customer base dwindled.

He has a new job at a different restaurant, but feels bad for who he calls the "legitimate" workers who are still at IHOP, left to wonder if customers will really stay away after a list of names filled the TV screen.

Copyright 2012 Toledo News Now.  All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly