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Digging Deeper: Buffet with checkered history now out of business

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - A local buffet restaurant that ran afoul of the Allen County Health Department has permanently closed.

Signage that identified Fujiyama Grill & Buffet has been replaced with a banner showing the property is available for lease.

A posted notice indicates that the landlord for the space -- in a shopping center across from Glenbrook Square -- seized the premises recently to protect its interests.

Notices on the doors to Fujiyama Buffet & Grill show a recent health department closure and eviction by the landlord.

The phone number for Fujiyama has also been disconnected.

Health department officials closed down the buffet -- which served seafood and a variety of Asian-themed entrees -- on July 7, citing violations of Gov. Eric Holcomb's Executive Order restricting restaurant operations during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Fujiyama reopened a day later.

But an official document posted on the door shows the restaurant was shut down again on July 25 for "failure to follow (Gov. Holcomb's) Executive Order."

Inspection records for the restaurant are no longer accessible via the Allen County Health Department's online portal because, a spokesperson told ABC21, they are taken offline when a permanent closure is confirmed.

Fujiyama has been in the news periodically in recent years.

The Fort Wayne restaurant was raided in August 2016 as part of a criminal investigation.

Two sister properties in Marion County were raided at the same time, and warrants were served at other Asian buffets in Indiana -- all of which were allegedly involved in white collar criminal activity.

Fujiyama owner Guo Wu Wu pleaded guilty in 2018 to a single tax-related count -- a Level 6 felony -- but saw other charges of business corruption and theft dismissed.

He was sentenced to 545 days in jail, with the time suspended, and was ordered to pay $255,205 in owed taxes. That amount was later reduced, and court records show the amount yet to be paid at $71,363.

Records also show Guo has been back in court regarding concerns that he has not met the terms of his probation.

He is scheduled for a hearing on Thursday.

Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley is the news director at WPTA TV, which he joined in 2016 following nine years in a similar role in New Orleans and previous news management positions in Oklahoma City and Las Vegas.

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