April 3, 2018

Chameleon, Blackstone Tap can be sold following drug plea

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

The federal government can now begin the process of selling nine properties - including two Worcester restaurants - purchased by former restaurateur and convicted drug dealer Kevin Perry.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Hillman issued a final order of forfeiture Tuesday, allowing the government to dispose of Perry's forfeited properties, which include the space formerly occupied by The Chameleon on Shrewsbury Street and the now empty Blackstone Tap on Water Street.

Perry was indicted in March 2017 and faces 14 charges of money laundering, lying on a bank loan application and distributing fentanyl.

Perry, convicted in 2005 for other drug crimes, allegedly purchased those restaurants and other properties with proceeds from his drug sales since Those establishments then served as his money laundering devices.

He has pleaded guilty and has agreed to a sentence of 14 to 16 years. Sentencing is scheduled for later this month.

The scheme has forced the closure of five restaurants.

The Usual opened in 2016 but was closed in 2017 shortly after Perry was indicted, as did the Blackstone Tap. Stacey Gala, Perry's wife, then reopened the restaurant as The Chameleon in June 2017, but that restaurant survived only until October.

Gala was indicted in February for allegedly using Perry's drug sale proceeds to open the restaurant. Joseph Herman, a business associate of the couple, is facing charges alongside Gala.

The Hangover Pub and Broth on Green Street are now also closed after an owner, Christopher Slavinskas, was charged with allegedly taking $330,000 in Perry's drug money that was hidden from law enforcement. Slavinskas pleaded guilty last week and is set to be sentenced on June 29.

Read more

Cornerstone, U.S. agree to $415K Shrewsbury Street drug restaurant settlement

Cornerstone Bank wants $440K from Chameleon, Usual restaurant sale


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