Crooked Huey's 24/7 and Wine Loft franchise mogul Jason Doyle is going to plead guilty to charges of scamming $900,000 off investors and not paying $105,000 in payroll taxes, according to The Time-Pic's Andy Grimm. Court records indicate that Doyle has admitted to conning three different investors in Arizona, Oklahoma and Louisiana during 2011-2014 and using the money for personal use. He also used his employee's collected payroll taxes for personal use as well.
The Huey's Saga came crumbling down in New Orleans during the years Doyle's scam-artistry was coming to a head, with numerous shutters, shady expansion promises, angered, unpaid employees and more lousy business-gone-awry, which all hinted at something much larger and more grotesque.
Doyle has screwed over many, many people. Case in point: The Times-Pic article on Doyle today runs La Crepe Nanou's mussels and frites as its lead picture, calling the restaurant "one of Jason Doyle's franchises" in the caption, which seems rather cruel given the back story about the restaurant's relationship with Doyle. General Manager Rich Siegel tells Eater Nola that the bistro leased the name to Doyle in 2010. When it became apparent that Doyle wasn't actually opening any locations, the Nanou team then tried to contact him. At one point, they went to his office, and Doyle showed them a slideshow of the interior of their own restaurant and what he intended to do with the interior of the franchises. Then he became impossible to contact at all.
In fact, the only thing Doyle seemingly did with the Crepe Nanou name was scam an investor in Tulsa, who has now opened a La Crepe Nanou, which has nothing to do with the beloved Uptown bistro—founded in 1983—despite its signage. La Crepe Nanou now has the rights back to its name, but is left to deal with the mess of the restaurant operating under the same name in Tulsa—Siegel has even received an email complaint from a confused customer of the Tulsa restaurant, and is currently talking to his lawyers about any actions they can take to reclaim their name and brand. Siegel says:
"We got screwed over too, not in terms of money, but in terms of reputation. We're perceived to be in cahoots with this clown."
La Crepe Nanou now has no interest in franchising. The restaurant is known as a classic spot for romantic dining and exceptional mussels.