BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A Boston pizza chain owner who was arrested on a forced labor charge earlier this month is now facing additional charges, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Wednesday.
Stavros Papantoniadis, 48, of Westwood is the owner and operator of Stash’s Pizza, which has locations in Dorchester and Roslindale, and formerly operated pizzerias in Norwood, Norwell, Randolph, Weymouth, and Wareham. He was indicted Wednesday by a Boston federal grand jury on four counts of forced labor and three counts of attempted forced labor. Papantoniadis was previously charged with one count of forced labor.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Papantoniadis allegedly targeted and employed at least seven victims who lacked immigration status and subjected them to verbal and physical abuse, including repeated threats of deportation. Papantoniadis allegedly employed the victims at depressed wages, demanded that they work, in most cases, six to seven days per week, at times for far more than eight hours per day and often without breaks or overtime compensation. Papantoniadis also allegedly withheld wages.
Specifically, Papantoniadis allegedly violently attacked one of the victims several times, including kicking him in the genitals, slapping and choking the victim and causing him to lose teeth. It is further alleged that, when three other victims separately expressed intentions to quit, Papantoniadis threatened one victim by telling the victim that he knew where he lived; he attacked another victim, forcing him to run to safety in the parking lot; and filed a false police report on another victim who wanted to leave Papantoniadis’ employ.
According to court documents, at least four of the victims feared that if they did not continue working for Papantoniadis, he would hurt them and/or report them to immigration authorities.
Papantoniadis has been in federal custody since March 16.
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