By NANCY MOCK
A series of frauds and thefts brought down Sarma Melngailis, owner of the iconic New York City vegan restaurant Pure Food and Wine. In Netflix’s “Bad Vegan” series, viewers see how Melngailis siphoned money from her restaurant to her husband, Anthony Strangis.
According to Melngailis, Strangis would frequently demand wire transfers for vague reasons. The show revealed that Strangis got $1.7 million from Melngailis in two years and also convinced Melngailis’ mother to send him $400,000.
As incredible as these amounts are, they pale in comparison to the total amount of debt left in the wake of Melngailis and Strangis' embezzlement and fraud convictions. Between unpaid taxes, money put up by many investors, and unpaid wages for the restaurant's employees, the money owed totaled $6.14 million.