Boston Pizza Shop Owner Indicted for Fraudulently Obtaining Pandemic Relief Loan

A federal grand jury has indicted Stavros “Steve” Papantoniadis, the owner of Stash’s Pizza in Boston, on two counts of wire fraud. Papantoniadis, who is already facing charges related to forced labor and mistreatment of immigrant workers, is now accused of fraudulently obtaining a pandemic relief loan for a pizzeria he had already sold.

According to federal prosecutors, Papantoniadis received a $500,000 loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA) in late 2021 for his Boston Pizza Company shop in Randolph, despite having sold the business months earlier. The SBA’s pandemic-era program was designed to assist businesses with expenses such as payroll. However, it is alleged that Papantoniadis misused the funds for personal and unauthorized expenses.

Papantoniadis, a resident of Westwood, has been in federal custody since March 2023 when he was initially charged with hiring immigrants lacking legal status, subjecting them to threats of deportation, physical abuse, and long working hours without proper compensation.

His lawyer, Carmine Lepore, stated that they had just learned of the new indictment and had not yet had the opportunity to review it, refraining from further comment.

These allegations of fraudulent use of the SBA loan program first emerged in court documents related to Papantoniadis’s forced labor case last year. Federal officials also claimed that Papantoniadis and his wife were on vacation in Aruba in February 2021, despite assertions that they were available to work in Massachusetts at the time.

Awaiting trial on the forced labor charges, Papantoniadis owned Stash’s Pizza locations in Dorchester and Roslindale at the time of his arrest. The Roslindale location has since been rebranded as Bel Ave Pizza.

Author: CrimeDoor

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