Ex-IHOP worker pleads guilty to federal charges


A former International House of Pancakes employee pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to multiple charges stemming from a scheme that involved illegal hiring practices, money laundering, wire fraud, arson, and other crimes at area IHOP restaurants.

Ramiz Awwad, 34, of Ypsilanti, Mich., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to alien harboring, two counts of aggravated identity theft, two counts of identity theft, false statements, and health-care fraud. He was a manager at the IHOP at Central Avenue and Airport Highway.

Judge David Katz did not schedule sentencing for Awwad, who became the sixth person to enter guilty pleas out of 18 people indicted last year on charges related to the restaurants operated by Tarek Elkafrawi of Wood County’s Middleton Township.