Former Chicago restaurant owner arrested in Spain on fraud charges

Attila Gyulai was once the owner of Embeya, one of Chicago’s hottest restaurants. However, he recently became the subject of a worldwide manhunt and has been arrested by federal officials in Spain. 

On the run for the last 10 months due to a wire fraud scandal, Gyulai’s Christmas holiday in Spain ended with the fugitive in handcuffs. A Spanish newspaper reports the former restaurateur traveled from Equador to Valencia, where he was staying in a private home.

The restaurant originally opened in Chicago in 2012 to rave reviews. FOX 32’s own Dawn Hasbrouck sat down with Gyulai to talk about Embeya back in 2015.

“Any sunny day, it's a great day in Chicago,” Gyulai said, in 2015. “We have a beautiful patio so sipping cocktails and having Mike's food, it's an awesome night.”

However, in 2016, Gyulai and his wife suddenly shut it down, abandoned their car, and fled the country. The FBI issued an arrest warrant for him a year ago, and he'd been on the run since.

Thai and Danielle Dang were Gyulai’s partners at Embeya. A judge ruled two years ago that Gyulai deceived the Dang's and left them with about $1 million in loan debts.

In a statement to the Tribune, Danielle Dang had this to say about his arrest.

“I actually like the fact that neither one of them are in the United States,” said Danielle Dang, according to the Tribune. “It gives me a sense of peace that the threat is not close. The thought of Attila coming back here, facing him in trial, that is something that pains me. It is not going to be something that easy or joyful.”

The process of getting Gyulai extradited to the U.S. from Spain to face charges could take a while. No court dates have been set yet.