March 15, 2018

Fourth charged in The Chameleon drug money saga

Grant Welker
The Chameleon restaurant on Shrewsbury street has been closed since October.

A fourth individual has been charged in the ongoing legal saga now involving several Worcester restaurants and the laundering of illegal drug proceeds.

Christopher Slavinskas, who is currently listed in corporate filings with the state as a manager at the Hangover Pub on Green Street, is being charged with lying to investigators about concealing at least $330,000 in drug money.

The money came from the drug sales of Kevin Perry, the former owner of The Usual and Blackstone Tap, who faces 14 charges in federal court of money laundering and other drug-related charges. Perry pleaded guilty in October and agreed to a sentence of 14 to 16 years in prison and forfeiture of his properties and assets. His sentencing was rescheduled from last month to April, court documents show.

According to federal prosecutors, Slavinskas told investigators he helped conceal $200,000 in drug proceeds and didn't spend a dime of it.

However, prosecutors allege in a February indictment Slavinskas helped conceal much more of the cash and spent a portion of it.

Perry's wife, Stacey Gala and business partner Joseph Herman were indicted last month for using more than $200,000 of Perry's drug money to open The Chameleon on Shrewsbury Street in the same spot at The Usual, which closed after Perry's indictment.

That money, according to prosecutors, was hidden in a storage locker in Northborough.

According to Gala and Herman's indictment, those two and an individual identified only as "C.S." removed the cash from the locker and used a portion of the funds to open The Chameleon.

According to other state corporate filings, Slavinskas is listed as a business partner with Herman at Restaurant Consulting, LLC.

The Chameleon was short lived, as it closed sometime in October after opening in July.

Gala is charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and a criminal forfeiture allegation, and Herman is charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, making false statements to investigators, witness tampering and a criminal forfeiture allegation.

Both pleaded not guilty and were released at their arraignment last month.

Read more

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