Monday Oct 02, 2023

Episode 23: How Sarma Melngailis, Queen of Vegan Cuisine, Became a Runaway Tax Fugitive Part I

In this gripping episode of Tax Crime Junkies, dive deep into the whirlwind world of Sarma Melngailis, the culinary genius behind New York City's famed vegan restaurant, "Pure Food and Wine." From her meteoric rise in the culinary world to her unexpected entanglement with the enigmatic Anthony Strangis, discover how ambition, love, and deception can intertwine in the most unexpected ways. As financial mysteries unravel and personal betrayals come to light, join hosts Dominique and Tom as they uncover the truth behind the headlines. What led to the sudden closure of a celebrity hotspot? How did a Domino's Pizza order become the unexpected twist in this tale? Tune in to find out!


Show Notes:

  • 00:00 - Introduction to the episode and hosts Dominique and Tom.
  • 02:15 - The allure of "Pure Food and Wine" and its impact on NYC's culinary scene.
  • 05:30 - Sarma Melngailis: The woman behind the brand.
  • 09:45 - The unexpected entry of Anthony Strangis (aka Shane Fox) into Sarma's life.
  • 15:20 - The financial intricacies and challenges faced by the restaurant.
  • 20:00 - The psychological manipulation and the promises of immortality.
  • 25:40 - The unraveling of the financial web: From missing funds to unpaid employees.
  • 30:15 - The sudden disappearance of Sarma and Anthony.
  • 35:00 - The Domino's Pizza order that changed everything.
  • 38:30 - Closing thoughts and a teaser for the next episode.

Stay connected with Tax Crime Junkies:

Recommended Resources:

  • Documentary on Sarma Melngailis and Anthony Strangis.
  • Forbes magazine's "All Star New York Eateries" list.
  • Well and Good interview with Sarma Melngailis.

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