Netflix’s new true crime story Bad Vegan: Hunger. Fraud. Fugitives just dropped, and it’s already getting plenty of buzz. The story follows the rise and fall of Sarma Melngailis, a famous New York City restaurateur and owner of celebrity hotspot Pure Food and Wine.
The documentary explains how Sarma fell in love with a man named Anthony Strangis, married him, and was allegedly subject to psychological abuse and blackmail. Sarma and Anthony ended up swindling approximately $ 2 million from her employees and investors and went on the run for a year before being caught by authorities when they ordered a non-vegan Domino’s pizza from a Tennessee motel.
The story is wild and has some seriously surprising twists and turns. But who is Anthony Strangis, exactly? Here’s what you need to know.
This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
He met Sarma on Twitter.
Details are a little hazy. But apparently, Anthony met his future wife on Twitter around 2011. They started dating soon after and got married not that long after, according to The Sun. This was his second marriage of him — and he also has a son from his previous relationship, according to The Sun.
He reportedly abused Sarma.
Anthony, who is also known as Shane Fox, was accused in court by Sarma’s lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman of being a “complete maniac.”
“She was badly abused and controlled by a lifelong predator and fraudster,” Lichtman said, per the New York Post.
Bad Vegan‘s executive producer Ryann Fraser told Women’s Health there was no doubt in her mind that Anthony abused Sarma. “I absolutely think he gaslit her. I think it was mental abuse, verbal. Many types of abuse. I mean, it’s it’s pretty extensive. And it’s horrible, “she said.
He promised to make Sarma and her dog immortal.
Sarma is famously in love with her dog, Leon. And Anthony convinced her that he could make Sarma and Leon immortal if she did whatever he said.
TO Vanity Fair article detailed how Anthony once told Sarma that he and his brother were always watching her and if she didn’t pass “tests” he set up for her, he would come after her. Anthony also allegedly told Sarma that Leon had been his dog di lei in a previous life and if she did as he said, “Leon would also be immortal and safe to be by my side for eternity,” per Sarma.
He has a criminal past.
Anthony had been in trouble with the law before he met Sarma, according to People: He was arrested on charges of grand theft and impersonating a police officer.
The series’ director Chris Smith told WH that Anthony was the driving force behind the scam — not Sarma. She didn’t even really want to marry him, he explained: “She had talked to her di lei accountant about lei could he [Anthony] transfer this money to her? And the accountant said, ‘Well, why don’t you marry him?’ “He said.” Then, they went and got the marriage certificate. “
Smith added that “Sarma herself, we do not believe would have ever ended up resorting to criminal behavior on her own. She was a person that was very dedicated to this restaurant and its success and under a lot of stress and pressure trying to make that work. “
“If Anthony had not come into her life, we just think there’s no way anything like this would have happened.”
He went to jail on a slew of charges.
In 2017, Anthony pleaded guilty to charges of grand larceny, criminal tax fraud, and a scheme to defraud, according to The Sun. He was sentenced to five years’ probation for stealing $ 1 million from investors and employees of Sarma’s restaurant. Before that, he served a year in jail on Riker’s Island.
He’s no longer married to Sarma.
Sarma filed for divorce from Anthony in May 2018, the New York Post reports.
Smith and Fraser both mentioned that Anthony hasn’t contacted them since Bad Vegan was released. And Sarma wrote on her website that she’s no longer in contact with him.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io