Created: 09/04/2014 12:10 PM
By: Elizabeth Reed, KOB.com
A 55-year-old Belen man pleaded guilty to eight counts of felony embezzlement in connection to a restaurant investment scheme.
Gerald Tabet was accused of soliciting investments from Albuquerque area residents between 2006 and 2009 for several Nothing But Noodles restaurants in the Westside and Rio Rancho.
The New Mexico Attorney General's Office said Tabet offered victims an "exciting investment opportunity" under the guise of a principal officer of a retail development company.
But instead of investing the victims' funds in the Nothing But Noodle franchise operation, the Attorney General's Office says Tabet spent their money on personal luxury travel, entertainment and private dance lessons for a family member.
Nothing But Noodles is an Arizona-based company with franchise locations in eight states.
According to the plea agreement, Tabet could be sentenced to nine years in prison at his initial sentencing.
Tabet has agreed to pay $475,000 in victim restitution.