A federal grand jury has indicted Boston pizzeria owner Stavros “Steve” Papantoniadis on additional charges stemming from his alleged exploitation and abuse of immigrant employees, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
The Stash’s Pizza owner is now facing four counts of forced labor and three counts of attempted forced labor, U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins’s office said in a press release. Papantoniadis has pizza shops in Dorchester and Roslindale and previously owned pizzerias in several other communities.
The 48-year-old Westwood resident was previously charged with one count of forced labor and has remained in jail since his March 16 arrest. His lawyer, Carmine Lepore, told Boston.com in an email that the additional charges were expected, based on the criminal complaint and supporting affidavit previously filed in court.
Papantoniadis is accused of targeting at least seven employees who lacked permanent legal status, often allegedly overworking and under-paying them. Prosecutors allege he also physically and verbally abused the employees, including with threats of deportation.
Documents filed in court outline how Papantoniadis allegedly attacked one of his employees — an immigrant from North Africa — on multiple occasions, breaking the man’s teeth and kicking him in the groin hard enough to require surgery.
When three other employees tried to quit on separate occasions, Papantoniadis allegedly threatened one, attacked another, and filed a false police report against the third.
“He could operate Stash’s Pizza with fewer and cheaper workers over whom he allegedly exercised significant control, all of which reduced his businesses’ labor and operating costs,” prosecutors said in the press release.
If Papantoniadis is convicted, the forced labor and attempted forced labor charges each provide for up to 20 years in prison, up to five years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.
Stay up to date on all the latest news from Boston.com