Owner of Dorchester, Roslindale pizza places charged with beating, intimidating his mostly immigrant workers; one had to have genital surgery and all his teeth removed after attacks
Federal agents today arrested the owner of Stash's Pizza in Dorchester and Roslindale - and of several other suburban pizza places - on a federal charge of forced labor, for preying on what he allegedly called "fucking immigrants," whom he'd hire and allegedly beat, scream at, and force to work up to 80 hours without overtime and sometimes without any pay at all, on threat of having them deported.
As a result of two sets of beatings, one employee had to have surgery on his testicles and have all his teeth removed, a Homeland Security agent writes in an affidavit laying out the case against Stavros "Steve" Papantoniadis, 47, of Westwood. Papantoniadis also repeatedly called the man - an immigrant without papers from Northern Africa - "a fucking Muslim" to his face. He punched another worker in the chest in front of other employees and would throw pens and knives at workers, the affidavit continues.
He made one man work 365 days straight and made other workers stay at the job for 11 or 12 hours a day, without overtime and without breaks - and he'd watch them on surveillance cameras to make sure they never sat down, the affidavit states. When one worker told Papantoniadis at the Norwood Stash's that he was taking the next day off, the owner yelled at him, then followed him down Rte. 1 in Norwood and called in a false 911 call that the man had just hit his car and sped off, the affidavit states. Norwood Police initially charged the man with leaving the scene of an accident. Papantoniadis sold that Stash's in 2019.
He focused his hiring on people here without papers from Central America, North Africa and Brazil. When any workers asked for back wages or time off, he'd often raise their immigration status. He'd do the same with workers who couldn't take it anymore and told him they were quitting - often while adding a threat that he knew where they lived.
PAPANTONIADIS treated the undocumented employees very poorly, verbally abusing them and screaming at them. He would make them work more than 12 hours per day, 7 days per week. The undocumented employees would often complain to PAPANTONIADIS about not being paid for all of the hours they work. In response, PAPANTONIADIS would say, "Tell them to go fuck themselves."
The criminal investigation grew out of 2017 investigation by the federal Department of Labor into wage issues at Stash's and Papantoniadis's other pizza places - Stash's in Norwood and Onset , Boston Pizza Company in Randolph and Norwell and Pacini’s Italian Eatery in Weymouth. The affidavit says he's currently only operates the Stash's on Blue Hill Avenu in Dorchester and Belgrade Avenue in Roslindale; he's closed or sold the other places. The Web site for the Norwood Stash's now has a node at the top that it is indepdenently owned and not affiliated with the Dorchester and Roslindale Stash's.
After Papantoniadis signed a consent decree in 2019 to pay more than $300,000 in back wages, Homeland Security began to re-interview the named workers, and to launch a broader investigation that led to today's arrest. The affidavit states that in exchange for their cooperation, Homeland Security worked to obtain a change in immigration status to let the workers stay here.
Papantoniadis used violence and threats to keep the most seriously injured worker, "Victim 1" in the affidavit, at work at the Dorchester Stash's for nearly 14 years, the affidavit states:
Victim 1 worked 12 hours per day, 7 days per week. He worked between 84 and 119 hours per week. Victim 1 worked even when he was sick. He is a practicing Muslim, and he was not permitted to stop working for Ramadan. Nor did he take a vacation or leave the United States once he began working for PAPANTONIADIS. Victim 1 did many different tasks in the restaurants, including making pizzas. At some point during his tenure with Stash's Pizzerias, he worked as a manager.
PAPANTONIADIS made derogatory comments about Victim 1's religion. PAPANTONIADIS would call Victim 1 a "fucking Muslim." ...
PANATONIADIS assaulted Victim 1 several times. Victim 1 was afraid of PAPANTONIADIS.
Victim 1 missed a day of work. The next day, PAPANTONIADIS pushed him and caused him to fall to the floor. PAPANTONIADIS then called Victim 1 a "fucking Muslim."
On a day in or around 2007, when Victim 1 arrived at the restaurant, another employee asked Victim 1 to go to the basement to speak to PAPANTONIADIS. When Victim 1 got to the basement, PAPANTONIADIS kicked Victim 1 in the genitals. Victim 1 stated that the pain was so bad that he started to cry. Victim 1 then took the bus to Massachusetts General Hospital. PAPANTONIADIS called Victim 1 and told him that if he did not return, he would kill Victim 1. Victim 1 had surgery on his genital region. After the surgery, Victim 1 had a catheter implanted. Victim 1 stated that this injury continued to cause him pain until at least 2021. During the 3-week recovery period, PAPANTONIADIS would call Victim 1 and threaten to kill him and call immigration if he did not return to work. PAPANTONIADIS also threatened to call the police. Victim 1 believed that PAPANTONIADIS knew police officers because police officers often visited the restaurant and PAPANTONIADIS gave them free food.
After the incident during which PAPANTONIADIS kicked Victim 1 in the genitals, PAPANTONIADIS entered the kitchen of one of the Stash's Pizza locations with 5 or 6 friends. PAPANTONIADIS then slapped Victim 1 in the face and broke his glasses.
On another occasion, PAPANTONIADIS hit Victim 1 in the ear and choked him so hard that his tongue stuck out of his mouth. Victim 1 fell to the floor and PAPANTONIADIS continued to choke him. The assault left marks on his neck and PAPANTONIADIS broke his glasses again. PAPANTONIADIS yelled, "You fucking Muslim," while he was choking Victim 1.
On another occasion, PAPANTONIADIS hit Victim 1 on his ear and mouth. PAPANTONIADIS broke his upper and lower teeth. Victim 1 had to go to the dentist and have all of his teeth removed. Victim 1 now has dentures.
The affidavit describes the alleged treatment of a worker at the Roslindale Stash's:
PAPANTONIADIS told Victim 6 that he (PAPANTONIADIS) killed someone in a car accident. Victim 6 stated that PAPANTONIADIS "put it out there" that he had spent time in jail. As a result, PAPANTONIADIS told Victim 6 not to mess with him.
PAPANTONIADIS sexually harassed and abused Victim 6 during his tenure at Stash's Pizzerias. Victim 6 became friends with Victim 2, who worked at the Norwood location. Victim 2 was gay and PAPANTONIADIS became very angry when he learned that Victim 2 and Victim 6 were friends. PAPANTONIADIS began yelling at Victim 6 and calling him the homophobic slur "faggot." PAPANTONIADIS treated Victim 2 the same way.
In another sexual harassment incident that occurred at the Roslindale location, PAPANTONIADIS and two other men, who were not employees, were sitting at a table in the front of the restaurant. When Victim 6 went to the front of the restaurant to clean the tables, PAPANTONIADIS asked Victim 6, "If I cum into this glass, would you drink it?" PAPANTONIADIS pointed to a glass and told Victim 6 he would pay him if he drank semen from the glass.
PAPANTONIADIS was physically abusive to other employees. On one occasion at the Roslindale location, PAPANTONIADIS threw a hot pizza and box at a Brazilian employee because he did not like the way the employee had made the pizza. Victim 6 also saw PAPANTONIADIS throw pens and knives at employees on other occasions. PAPANTONIADIS's behavior made Victim 6 very afraid of PAPANTONIADIS and he feared that PAPANTONIADIS would hurt him. PAPANTONIADIS was always angry.
PAPANTONIADIS also touched him with a frequency that made him uncomfortable. PAPANTONIADIS would approach Victim 6 from behind, grabbing Victim 6's buttocks and pinching his nipples. Repeatedly, Victim 6 told PAPANTONIADIS to stop this behavior. The unwanted touching became worse during the last few weeks that Victim 6 worked at the Roslindale location.
While Victim 6 was working at Stash's Pizza's Roslindale location, Victim 6 again decided to quit. PAPANTONIADIS became very angry when he learned that Victim 6 wanted to quit. PAPANTONIADIS yelled at Victim 6, threw papers in his face, and threatened to call the police and immigration authorities. Victim 6 believed that PAPANTONIADIS would call the police or immigration authorities to report him. PAPANTONIADIS had previously told Victim 6 that he called immigration authorities on another Brazilian employee who was subsequently deported. 30 PAPANTONIADIS would often mention this to Victim 6, especially when PAPANTONIADIS was angry.
Shortly after Victim 6 disclosed his desire to quit, PAPANTONIADIS told Victim 6, "if you quit, I know your address." Victim 6 stated that he was afraid of PAPANTONIADIS because he (PAPANTONIADIS) did in fact know where he lived.
According to the affidavit, Papantoniadis was not lying when he said he killed somebody in a car - he was convicted of motor-vehicle homicide in Suffolk Superior Court in 1998.
The affidavit describes the treatment of two people who witnessed the way the victims in the case were treated:
During the time that Witness B worked at Stash's Pizzerias, she was addicted to heroin. As a result, PAPANTONIADIS would call her a "crackhead" and say that "she would never be anything." One day when she was working in the front of one of the restaurants, PAPANTONIADIS got angry with her and punched her in the chest in front of other employees.
Witness C worked approximately 70 to 80 hours per week. PAPANTONIADIS knew Witness C needed the hours because she was supporting her drug- dependent parents. PAPANTONIADIS fired Witness C a few times, including one time for using her cell phone to ask her partner to bring her inhaler to the restaurant. During that episode, PAPANTONIADIS threatened to assault her.
If convicted, Papantoniadis faces up to 20 years in federal prison. At his initial hearing in US District Court in Boston today, he was ordered held until at least a detention hearing on March 20, the US Attorney's office reports.
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I usually order from the place every other week or so...the food was pretty good and the prices reasonable but now knowing that the owner did some pretty nasty things to his employees, I won't be ordering there ever again.
Let's hope for new ownership on Belgrade Ave.
It's decent food, and the staff seem nice enough, but it would be tough to give this guy my business.
"Tough" but not "impossible"?
"Tough" but not "impossible"? You'd still be willing to give this psychopathic slave owner your business under some conditions?
That’s a strong dose of projecting with a side of making an ass of yourself there.
Let's be honest
Wackweeought will spend even more money at this place, and probably has already started a gfm for "Stash's" legal fund.
Perhaps my desire for new ownership was a bit too subtle for the likes of you, as I could never patronize an owner who treats his staff like that.
In fact, I like the staff there, so I am hoping that all the workers don’t lose their livelihoods due to this sociopath. I also haven’t gotten food from there in over a year.
Tough? It should be easy to
Tough? It should be easy to not give your money to a violent slave driver.
Kinopio - normally I vehemently disagree with your automobile screeds, but here, as time goes on, you may be right.
I’m going to take offense here
As my quote was basically agreeing with you.
Kinopio, on the other hand, will spend more time griping about the horrible owner but couldn’t really care for the victimized employees. I feel for those people, as unlike Kino, I’ve interacted with them.
No offense intended
Stash's is a straight shot and a jog to the right where I live, and when the employees dropped off the food, they were quite friendly and I didn't suspect a thing. When I kept on reading the affidavit, my jaw dropped to the floor.
The only other thing that was out of whack was the steep delivery fee ($5.00)…I wondered if that delivery fee and the tips went to his workers or his own pockets. Had I known about the vicious things the owner was doing, I would have stopped ordering a long time ago.
Yes, Kino is known for his bluster, but even with that statement he made, and as time bears out, he may be right. I try my best not to get people riled up or upset, and if my statement did that, I do apologize.
Hard to believe
It's really hard to see anyone who would still be purchasing anything from him. This poor excuse for a "human" should be behind bars for the rest of his life and all assets seized to attempt to compensate his victims.
If he acted like this report says, I wouldn't be able to stop myself from speaking up if this happened in front of me. Mind you, I am not a big person at all and as intimidating as a wet towel.
Karma for killing a person with his car years ago and throwing the body in a ditch and then bragging about it and got caught and only did a year in jail
I'm with you on that one
I'm with you on that one Cleary Squared. Never again.
I hope this horrendous excuse for a person spends the rest of his life in jail and gets treated there the way he treated his employees.
Only 20 years?
First of all, 20 years seems pretty light based on the torture this guy inflicted.
I also sure hope the IRS takes a close look at his business because I'm sure he was skimming big time
Poor Mr. Papantoniadis
To paraphrase Flannery O’Connor, “he could have been a good man, if there had been someone there to shoot him every minute of his life.”
Are they still in business?
Are they still in business? All assets should be sold and given to victims.
Part of me hopes they are closed, but part is sad for the people who will lose jobs.
Looks like they have some
Looks like they have some kind of LLC set up. Would that prevent all his assets being seized?
My guess is probably not as I
My guess is probably not as I imagine he was as much as a db with his business as he was with his employees. The feds will likely be able to "pierce the corporate veil" and then all bets are off and the LLC protections will go away.
Those kinds of jobs we can do without
It's slavery by any other name.
I saw a
holding a sign saying Stash's is Racist, or something similar some time back, in front of the shop at Columbia and Blue. Not surprised to read this story.
The pen is mightier than the sword. I hope this story gets him shut down as well as heavily fined. Most likely he'll be on the hook for hiring illegals and not declaring taxes as well.
(Black) People have known this for years
but still ate there.
Stash treats us like crap and this makes so much sense.
Black people definitely knew
Black people definitely knew this, I know many who don’t frequent Stash’s because of the owner’s known racism.
I had no idea the owner was
I had no idea the owner was such a douchebag.
His brother ruined his business back then
I heard that his brother ruined his life and text a black customer that she’s a n word but I know Steve and his very nice and a humble man every 4 kids and a great wife
language like "illegals"
helps enable this kind of treatment of people.
no one is illegal
No one is illegal. Beating workers, not paying overtime, and not paying people at all on the other hand...
Actually some people are illegal.
If you enter the country illegally you're illegal. That's how it works, we have laws.
Acts are illegal
People are not.
Have you ever?
If you’ve ever illegally driven above the speed limit you’re illegal. That’s how it works, we have laws.
Except no one says that. And the term illegal/illegals as refering to people is reserved for immigrants. Now why is that?
If you come into the country without papers you are undocumented not illegal.
It’s actually not
This is not a legal term, it’s a term of derision. The generally preferred term “undocumented” is also a much clearer depiction of their legal status than “illegal” as a noun.
that the story of the old man getting his throat cut in his own home was the worst Boston story I’d hear this year, and now this?
Throw. Away. The. Key.
This guy doesn’t deserve another shot at being part of society.
I have wanted to own my own business my whole life. How do scumbags like this get the money/opportunity to own several?!
This story is just a total spirit breaker...
While this is abhorent
I'd argure death is still worse! Specifically bleeding out from your throat.
Explains so much
That’s why everyone there is rude as hell and miserable. I stopped going there years ago because it was just too ridiculously rude. At least in Dorchester.
this explains perfectly why
this explains perfectly why the staff in Randolph was always so rude and miserable
20 years can't cover this
Victim 1 is permanently harmed. The maximum possible sentence under our justice system can't compensate his injuries. All the assets this lowlife has probably can't even cover the back pay he owes, let alone the damages.
He should do his entire sentence at forced labor, with every penny going to his victims.
Is there any chance they can
Is there any chance they can also go after him in state court for assault, etc...? ...or would that amount to double-jeopardy or something otherwise disqualifying?
I stopped ordering from Stash
I stopped ordering from Stash's years ago, when they refused to credit my card for a charged item that they didn't even deliver. I've also heard many informal stories over the years that strongly indicated this guy was a racist scumbag, so not at all surprised by this news.
I tried to read through the rest of the affidavit and had to stop. This monster should be spending the rest of his life behind bars.
Me too. I read enough and to
Me too. I read enough and to the point where I held no possibility of redemption for this man. To prey on vulnerable workers is bad enough but this guy seemed to think he was untouchable. Sadly he kind of was for a long time it seems.
I do hope that the victims can get some money from the civil side. Especially the man who is facing permanent damage in so many ways.
Can we change the title to something like...
Westwood man charged with beating & intimidating his immigrant employees in Dorchester & Roslindale?
This guy is not from Boston, let the suburbs take the rap for this jerk.
What does that even mean?
What does that even mean? Should suburbs “take the rap” crimes committed there by people from Boston?
That the way the headline was originally worded indicated that this criminal was a Boston resident and he is not. And as a resident of Boston, I am tired of the media's negative consistent portrayal of our neighborhoods. So, yes, I do believe that it should lead with a headline like "Business owner from Westwood terrorizes undocumented employees throughout his chain of pizza restaurants in Boston"
It is too easy for people from the suburbs to say "Oh, that would never happen here." And it turns out that the guy is someone's neighbor in Westwood. Not Roslindale or Dorchester.
Here is an example: https://www.cbsnews.com/boston/news/francisco-severo-torres-leominster-e...
Well, to be accurate
At least some of the alleged crimes did happen when he was a Boston resident - he used to live in West Roxbury.
I'm as eager as anybody else to point out when a suburbanite comes into the city to commit crimes, for the same reason you state.
In this case, though, we're dealing with a pair of food places that are well known in their neighborhoods (the Dorchester one in particular) and involve people who worked at those places, so I thought it was more important - in the headline - to note that, along with the truly horrible things he allegedly did to one worker in particular.
And it's not like I buried where he lives - it's in the second paragraph.
He is though
It really doesn't matter at all, but he's from West Roxbury. Always been a complete piece of shit.
What "rap" is that?
Please, a sense of the appropriate would be in order. This concern of yours is laughably trivial and frankly embarrassing.
fundraising for victims?
Are there victims' services and supports in place? What about fundraising for medical/psychological expenses?
This man is the scum of the earth. And it should be a reminder that immigrants have never taken your job; your boss just took advantage of someone's lack of legal status in order to pay them less, give them fewer if any benefits, and the ability to treat them like shit while holding deportation over their head if they push back.
I hate that I have patronized this man's businesses.
What a POS; the victims
What a POS; the victims should take him for every red cent and he should rot in jail.
The food is terrible...I really don't understand why ppl eat there and waste their $.
I had an encounter with this foul speaking owner, who wanted to fight a customer and I intervened and he gave me a lot of foul talk infront of many customers. That place used to have good food.
looks like we found the star pupil
and graduate of the Upper Crust School of Pizzeria Management and Labor Abuse
let's remember, cases like this are never just isolated cases, this is how the system works.
Businesses in Boston need employees, willing workers shouldn’t have to feel that they are one complaint from being deported by their employer
about 10 years ago
I worked with an immigrant community org in the greater metro area. Many people who worked in restaurants had similar stories about how they arrived in Boston - contacted by a recruiter elsewhere in the country, promised jobs, put on a bus up here with very little other information, plunked in overcrowded shithole apartments in Chelsea or Everett and basically forced to work 60+ hours a week in restaurants across the city.
And it's not just Boston, trafficking is how the restaurant industry works. It's not just one sociopath, there are networks of people that make this possible, and restaurant owners know it.
I saw this dick behind the
I saw this dick behind the place in Roslindale once screaming at a much smaller, very sad looking gentleman and backing him into a fence. Couldn't make out everything being said but thought I heard some racial garbage. I wanted to intervene but I was with seven dogs (dog walker), and now I regret not sticking every single one of them on him. Prick.
Does this mean
That Stash's will no longer give police discounts to the Boston and Transit Police?
One presumes Marty didn't know
One presumes Marty didn't know all this when he stopped by for a photo op in 2016.
Nothing like taking a celebratory photo of your restaurant not having any health code violations.
Yeah, but ...
The photo went with a story about the launch of Boston's new letter grading system for restaurants, and for whatever reasons, the guy got the first such window sign in the whole city.
Can't be the same guy
Above it says the dirtbag is 47 now. That guy in the picture with Mahty can't be in his early forties.
That guy already looks into his fifties in this photo. Probably lots of drinking, smoking, and a lifetime of anger and racism.
NHL players should
be shaking in their skates. This man is the most anti-worker “union guy” the world has ever seen.
If you are in a building trades union or a police “union” (there are no bigger scabs than cops) or generally work in a trade that people think of as tough and masculine he’s probably your friend but if you are a retail worker, a domestic worker, or any other highly racialized and gendered profession he absolutely could not care less about you. It’s been very clear from the first moments he ran for office who he considered to be fellow workers and who he is willing to throw under the bus. The whole ongoing love affair between big union guy Marty and devout neoliberal Baker should also make you question where his loyalties really lie.
All of that is to say, for NHL players he will probably be fine, but is the players union under his tenure ever going to use it’s platform to stick up for fellow workers who are stadium janitors and retail employees, or say the people who stitch the jerseys? Definitely not.
Which explains why he moved on from his cabinet position with a stick-in-the-mud administration that expects its appointees to act with professional ethics and not just be grinning, glad-handing, my-kinda-people sacks of shit.
We should just end borders entirely
If the outcome of having them is "Obey me, or I'll have you forcibly taken outside the imaginary lines."
This might be the first time I’ve agreed with you
This is the outcome
This is very much a deliberate outcome. US border policy for as long as it has existed has been shaped by employers desire to have a group of second class non-citizens with no protections that they can exploit and threaten with deportation if they attempt to do anything about it. This isn’t an accident it is a very deliberate strategy.
If this sounds far fetched read “Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol” which is probably the best book I’ve read on the US border and goes into depth in all of this.
Was he born in the US?
If not, can we deport him?
Man mistreats immigrants and your first thought is “is he an immigrant? We should treat him with the violence with which we treat immigrants in general.” Pathetic.
Deportation is not violence
When someone is someplace they’re not allowed to be, making them leave is not punishment and it’s not an act of violence.
Yes, our immigration enforcement apparatus is intentionally, as a matter of policy, cruel and soulless at an institutional level and often downright sociopathic at an individual level, such that it turns deportation into a violent and abusive process, but that is a separate problem. Deportation is not inherently violent.
I think it is odd timing
I think it is odd timing since his lease is up and the space has recently been marketed for lease.
I think he owns that whole
I think he owns that whole stretch in Rozzie.
Investigations like this take
Investigations like this take time before charges are filed. I'm sure he realized he was going down months ago and made the choice not to renew in that period.
So you think this is...what?
So you think this is...what? Some kind of scheme to force him out of the building?
Coincidence? I think not.
We found out about all this the other day. He's known about it for a while.
He's likely to go to prison for a long, long time, and he knew that long before we did. That might not happen for a while - there are trials and whatnot. But what would predictably happen immediately is that, once this information came out, it would become impossible for him to even show his face in public, let alone run a business. Why would he renew a lease on a business that would be impossible to run?