just an update. I love how real crooked guys always end up getting deals so they can repeat history.
Prosecutor: Tyngsboro pizza restaurateur's cash came from drug sales
By Lisa Redmond, [email protected]
Posted: 04/01/2009 06:37:50 AM EDT
Eric Sideri...must wear GPS bracelet Related
Tyngsboro restaurant controversy
Ownership issue threatens Tyngsboro restaurateur's liquor licensesMar 27:
Tyngsboro restaurateur remains held in beatingMar 25:
Second man held in alleged Tyngsboro restaurant beatingLAWRENCE -- After a former employee of a Tyngsboro pizza shop told police of a Sopranos-style beating he allegedly endured at the hands of Eric Sideri, police searched Sideri's North Andover home. They say they found the gun used in the beating and a hidden safe that contained cocaine, $70,000 in cash, diamond rings and pills -- Oxycodone, Ecstasy and Viagra.
But the cash wasn't the result of Sideri's successful restaurants -- Angela's Coal Fired Pizza in Tyngsboro and Saugus -- but rather "the proceeds from drug distribution," prosecutor Maura Officer said during Sideri's Lawrence District Court arraignment yesterday.
While defense attorney James Krasnoo portrayed Sideri as the former owner of an electric plating company
Eric Sideri allegedly beat and threatened an employee at his Tyngsboro restaurant, Angela's Coal Fired Pizza, after closing for the night on March 21. SUN FILE PHOTO turned successful pizza maker, the prosecutor noted Sideri's criminal record, which includes two closed federal cases -- one of which was a drug conspiracy charge -- and "multiple charges'' of witness intimidation.
But Krasnoo countered, "This is a case with several serious flaws."
Krasnoo argued that the gun found in Sideri's home was not the one allegedly used to threaten the former employee. He also said he plans to challenge the legality of a search warrant for a home in Essex County issued by a Lowell District Court judge in Middlesex County.
Judge Kevin Gaffney ordered Sideri, 46, of 6 Russell St., North Andover, released under house arrest with a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet and $25,000 surety. Sideri pleaded
innocent to charges of possession of a firearm without a firearms-identification card, three counts of possession of a class B drug (cocaine) and possession of a class B drug with intent to distribute.
The prosecutor requested that Sideri's bail be set at $25,000 cash, citing his access to large sums of money and two federal cases that date back nearly two decades, though she did not elaborate on those cases. But Gaffney set the same conditions of Sideri's release without additional bail. Sideri has already posted $20,000 in Lowell District Court in the Tyngsboro beating case.
In the Tyngsboro case, Sideri is charged with kidnapping, three counts of assault and battery, larceny of a motor vehicle, threatening to commit murder and larceny of property worth less than $250 -- the victim's cell phone. His next court hearing is May 8, but the case is expected to be presented to a grand jury this month.
Sideri was arrested March 22, after Lucio "Lou" Oliveira told police Sideri accused him of stealing $20,000, tied him up with the help from another manager, beat him with a bat and stuck a loaded gun in his mouth, threatening to kill him if he didn't turn over the money. At one point, Sideri allegedly took the employee out to the back of an SUV where he was shown a tarp and told that no one would ever find his body.
Oliveira was released after he promised to get the money. He went to the hospital and then to the police the next day.
When Krasnoo was asked outside the courtroom why Sideri didn't go to the police if he suspected theft, he said, "There is more here than meets the eye."
As for Oliveira's denial of the theft, Krasnoo said, "It's my belief that the victim's denial of larceny will be unmasked."
Sideri's next court date in Lawrence is May 21 for a pretrial conference
and another........ pizza without beer? ouch
TYNGSBORO -- Under house arrest on charges that he beat and threatened an employee, Tyngsboro restaurant owner Eric Sideri's ankle is not the only thing being monitored.
The liquor license that Sideri's wife, Christina, holds at both Angela's Coal Fired Pizza locations, in Tyngsboro and Saugus, faces renewed scrutiny and likely revocation by selectmen and the state liquor commission.
Questions about the license intensified Tuesday after a Lawrence District Court prosecutor told the court about Sideri's criminal record dating to 1990, which includes two closed federal cases involving drug dealing and witness intimidation.
"To make sure that we are doing our due diligence with Angela's, we have contacted the town's counsel (attorney Richard Bowen), and we're awaiting his guidance as to whether we need to take action in regard to this liquor license," said Tyngsboro Selectman Rich Lemoine.
Sideri's failure to list his name in the "ownership interests" section of the liquor-license applications -- approved by the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission and selectmen in Saugus in 2007 and Tyngsboro in 2008 -- nearly guarantees that the permitting authorities will revoke both licenses following a likely ABCC investigation, The Sun has learned.
"It says it right in the application, Section 14, that you must disclose all persons that have a direct or indirect financial interest or benefit from the license," ABCC Executive Director Ralph
Sacramone said yesterday.
"Withholding the name of a spouse with an interest is not OK, and when you sign your name to the document -- look at what it says on the last page of the application -- that's considered perjury," he said.
Sacramone declined to say whether the ABCC has reopened an investigation into Angela's liquor license. If an investigation is done and problems with the application are discovered, the concerned parties will be notified by certified mail to come to the commission's Boston headquarters for a license hearing. Depending on the investigators' findings and testimony from the license-holder, the commissioners could issue a "warning, suspension, revocation, or suspension indefinitely until it's corrected," Sacramone said.
The fact that Christina Sideri is listed on records at the Secretary of State's Office and selectmen's offices as the sole owner of Angela's Coal Fired Pizza LLC in Saugus and CS Business Enterprises in Tyngsboro does not exempt the couple from including Eric Sideri's name on the license -- unless he can prove that he did not benefit financially from the businesses, Sacramone said.
A 1979 court ruling, Number Three Lounge vs. the ABCC, defined "hidden ownership" and "direct or indirect benefit" in state liquor-licensing cases. In that case, plaintiff George Tecci tried to show that his wife was sole owner of the Boston lounge, despite evidence that Tecci "did all the hiring, firing, writing of checks and depositing and withdrawing of funds for the corporation," according to ABCC investigators.
In finding against Tecci and upholding the ABCC's revocation of the license, the state Appeals Court ruled that ownership interests can be viewed apart from the name that appears on the paper license. "And such factors as family relationships, guidance, assistance, financial support and joint activities are relevant criteria to be considered," the court wrote.
By not including his name on the liquor-license application, Sideri avoided having his criminal record uncovered by Tyngsboro police, according to Therese Gay, the selectmen's administrative assistant. Had Sideri's name been on the application, Deputy Chief Richard Burrows would have discovered his criminal background, Gay believes.
"We've been lucky until now, apparently, that all of our (restaurant) managers in town have been clean," Gay said.
Gay provided The Sun with copies of Angela's liquor license and the minutes from the Sept. 22 selectmen's meeting at which the liquor license was approved.
Since Sideri first approached Tyngsboro selectmen last summer with plans to locate a second Angela's restaurant at the site of the former Matthew's strip club on Middlesex Road, he has repeatedly described himself as the business "owner" in conversations with selectmen and Sun interviews.
"It's one of those locations that I held my breath about, saying: It's either cursed, or someplace that'll eventually (succeed)," Sideri told The Sun in August. "But ... I think the town's great to work with, so I'm going to give it a shot."
At the board meeting in September when the liquor license was granted pending ABCC approval, Selectman Lemoine recalled that Eric and Christina Sideri both appeared before the board and spoke, accompanied by their vice president of operations, Alfonso Guevara, who had the necessary TIPS certification to oversee the serving of alcohol, the Sideris told the board.
"It was noncontroversial, the building was vacant and he already had a successful business going in Saugus," Lemoine recalled. "So we welcomed them to Tyngsboro and wished them the very best."
Before voting to approve the license, selectmen received word from the Tyngsboro police investigator that a background check had been done "and they recommended that we approve the license," Lemoine said. "But I've been told that it was only (Christina's) name on the license, so she would've been the one subject to the background check."
In a Sun article last August, published the day after Sideri purchased the 361 Middlesex Road building from Paul Saperstein Auction Co. of Holbrook, on behalf of Zion Bank of Salt Lake City, he did not try to hide his joint ownership of the business. Or optimism.
"Hopefully, you won't be writing the follow-up article (about the failure of the business) in a year," Sideri said then. "Proof of where we're at will be there in six months."
of course innocent until proven