You might have been told by an indignant vegan that eating meat is a crime, but so is grand larceny, tax fraud and defrauding investors.
Those are the crimes that will see Sarma Melngailis spend four months in jail, as well as five years on probation, after the Brooklyn Supreme Court found her guilty.
We did cover her story way back when in 2015 (HERE), which included the delightful nugget that she had been arrested, along with her fellow fugitive husband Anthony Strangis, after he ordered pizza and chicken wings using his real name whilst on the run.
With the help of the Daily Beast, let’s catch up with the latest:
The duo bilked nearly $1 million from investors and employees of Melngailis’ Manhattan hotspot, Pure Food and Wine, before vanishing in May 2015. They looted Pure’s payroll for overseas vacations, casinos and Rolex watches, prosecutors say…
Melngailis will begin her prison stint on June 21, but a facility has not been determined, said a spokesman for the Brooklyn DA’s office.
Meanwhile, the 44-year-old’s estranged husband, Anthony Strangis, is scheduled for release from Rikers on May 22. The reported con man and gambling addict had taken a plea deal for one year behind bars and five years’ probation.
Melngailis’ attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, argued that his client was being manipulated by her now-estranged husband:
They knew [Strangis] was manipulating her, ripping off her mother, controlling her, that she was fighting him half the time to get the money back,” Lichtman said.
“She’s been badly abused by Strangis over a period of years,” he added, suggesting his client had a minor role in what was truly Strangis’ scheme.
A story in Vanity Fair from December last year has even more damning allegations:
Strangis used “cult-like techniques, including gaslighting, sleep deprivation, and sexual humiliation” to gain control over Melngailis and her finances.
Those were denied by Strangis’ attorney, as well as a claim that he tried to make her pass a series of ‘cosmic tests’:
[One test] was for Melngailis to accept the junk food-loving Strangis’ obesity—despite growing unattracted to him—and to continue asking people to invest in her business, which by then was hemorrhaging sic] funds.
Melngailis transferred more than $1.6 million from her business accounts to one of her personal bank accounts, and from there to Strangis, who dropped nearly $1 million at the Foxwoods casino in Connecticut, the indictment stated.
How many vegans does it take to destroy a business? One – as long as she has a manipulative criminal messing with her mind at the same time.
I’ll be eating my favourite steak tonight as a way of protest.
[imagesource: JOOINN] The move to alert level 1 and the easing of restrictions have be...
I was going to write about my Monday, which saw roughly 12 humans coming at me between 8AM...
UPDATE: Donovan has responded with an apology video, which you can see at the bottom of th...
[imagesource: Augusto Zurita / AP] Shows like Narcos may have glorified aspects of the ...
Well done on making it through another week. Just think, this time next week you'll be ...