54
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      IHOP franchisor drops owner of raided restaurants

      The official franchisor of IHOP restaurants has severed its agreement with the owner of seven area locations after he was indicted on felony charges last week.

      Tarek Elkafrawi and 17 other employees were arrested on charges of money laundering, identity theft and harboring illegal immigrants after an FBI raid last year revealed criminal activity.

      DineEquity, Inc., IHOP's franchisor, terminated Elkafrawi's franchise agreement for seven IHOP locations in Ohio and Evansville, Ind. The company also placed management teams at six of the IHOP locations to ensure proper operating procedures and customer service standards are followed until a new franchisee is secured.

      The restaurants in Toledo, Holland, Perrysburg, Lima and Evansville are all open for business. The restaurant in Findlay has been closed and employees have been offered the opportunity to be considered for positions at the other IHOP restaurants, according to a news release.

      The company had no further comment due to continued legal proceedings in connection with the matter.