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Taco Truck Founder Arrested in Korea for Fraud

Posted: Oct 01, 2012

 A prominent food truck entrepreneur was arrested by South Korean authorities for an alleged real estate scam from 14 years ago.

Ok-Joo Ahn, the founder of Korean fusion food truck franchise Calbi, allegedly fled South Korea in 1998 after receiving approximately $1.1 million from investors in connection with a real estate project in Seoul, according to the Chosun Ilbo.

After immigrating to the U.S. the following year, Ahn invested the money from the scam to start his food truck franchise, which subsequently made its way to the famous Universal Studios in Hollywood. When Ahn flew to South Korea earlier this month to visit his family, he was arrested immediately by authorities upon his arrival at Incheon International Airport.

A consortium of investors led by Mexican restaurant chain Baja Fresh acquired the company in late 2009. A statement on the Calbi website states that Ahn has not been involved with the company since early 2010. “Calbi is in no way associated to Ok-Joo Ahn and his illegal business transactions,” according to the statement.

The Calbi food truck was one of the first “Kogi knockoffs” to enter the highly competitive Southern California food truck scene.




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