El Rodeo facing forefeiture suit


TIPPECANOE CO., Ind. (WLFI) – The Tippecanoe County Prosecutor’s Office is filing suit to get the money seized from three area restaurants.

As News 18 reported back in November 2013, State police and excise officers served search warrants on El Rodeo restaurants in multiple locations around the state, including three in Lafayette and West Lafayette.

A civil forfeiture lawsuit filed last week states the restaurants and defendants were involved with illegal activities, including racketeering and money laundering. The suit asks for the county to receive the illegal funds from the local restaurants.

Prosecutor Pat Harrington was not available for an on-camera interview, but told News 18 that civil forfeitures are filed before a defendant is convicted and separate from a criminal trial.

No criminal charges have been filed against the owners of El Rodeo and the case remains under investigation.

El Rodeo manager, Jose Bustos, one of the named defendants in Tippecanoe County’s suit refused to be interviewed.

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