clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Crooked NOLA Restaurateur Jason Doyle Charged with Wire Fraud to the Tune of $888K

The mastermind behind multiple seven-figure restaurant scams across the country could face 20+ years in prison.

Jason Doyle at a Huey's 24/7 event in New Orleans
Jason Doyle at a Huey's 24/7 event in New Orleans
Huey's 24/7/Facebook

This has been a long time coming. Jason Doyle, the mastermind behind the shady restaurant enterprise The Doyle Group—operators of Huey's 24/7 diners, The Wine Loft, Press It Bistro, and more franchises— has been charged with wire fraud to the tune of $888,000. No surprise to those who have followed The Huey's Saga for the past several years, or worse, had the pleasure of working for/with Doyle  and not getting paid.

In New Orleans specifically, Jason Doyle reopened his blase diner Huey's 24/7 in Jax Brewery after Katrina, quickly expanded with more locations, and mysteriously shuttered all the locations just as fast. He would announce plans to open restaurants all over the country, but never actually open any. Hundreds of anonymous tipsters have written in since 2011, claiming that Doyle had screwed them over, including employees being locked out of shuttered restaurants with no notice and receiving bad checks.  By the time abhorrent automat concept Press It Bistro was evicted from the Exchange Centre in February 2013 and Huey's 24/7 soon followed from The Wyndham Garden in March 2013,  Doyle's mounting legal troubles included multiple seven-figure judgments from across the country: millions owed to developers from Ohio to Arizona and felony charges in North Carolina for worthless check writing. To top it all off, Doyle's attorney called the accusations 'chicken shit.'

What was really happening, according to The Times-Pic:

Doyle would solicit money from investors interested in owning and operating a restaurant franchise, and would guarantee either a restaurant or the equipment necessary to operate a restaurant in exchange for an upfront payment, according to court records. However, instead of spending the money on the investor's restaurant projects, Doyle diverted the money for his own personal use.

Doyle also failed to report taxes withheld from employees' paychecks to the IRS, and owes upward of $105,000. While he is likely entering a plea agreement, he could face up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud and another five years over the taxes.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater New Orleans newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world