There is a new true crime story on Netflix that is sure to keep you interested. Netflix has been producing a lot of true crime content lately. The film is titled Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives tell the outrageous tale of Sarma Melngailis, proprietor of the well-known vegan restaurant Pure Food and Wine in New York City.
A famous hangout for a spell, Pure Food, and Wine, run by Sarma, is described in the story. Sarma later fell engaged with (and married) Anthony Strangis, a man who stole money from her and blackmailed her. Following Sarma’s theft of $2 million from her workers and investors, things quickly became worse.
It’s understandable to have some, no, a lot of questions after watching the trailer because it’s so compelling on its own. What you need to know about the origins of Bad Vegan is provided below.
Sarma Was Imprisoned, Right?
Melngailis accepted a plea agreement in 2017 and pleaded guilty to theft, tax fraud, and conspiring to deceive. Later that year, as a condition of the agreement, she served four months in jail.
Regarding Strangis, the con artist was given a year in prison and five years of probation after pleading guilty to four counts of grand theft. He was also ordered to repay investors $840,000 in damages. Soon after completing her term, Melngailis sued for divorce.
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Sarma Melngailis: Who Is She?
Formerly well-known restaurateur and vegan chef Sarma Melngailis holds a degree from the French Culinary Institute. In the end, she decided to start Pure Food and Wine in New York City, which swiftly gained notoriety and attracted celebrities like Rooney Mara and Owen Wilson.
Has Sarma Melngailis Been Imprisoned?
Yup! Sarma discusses it in her bio on her website.
She stated, “In 2015, I vanished for over a year, which was painful and bizarre. “One day I got arrested, and that’s what took me home, or to the city, I call home, in the end. Only then did I realize that everything had vanished and that I had lost my house. Sarma stated that after being “charged with a number of felonies and ultimately unwilling to endure a drawn-out and expensive trial, I stood and pled guilty to those charges and subsequently spent four months—the summer of 2017—at NYC’s Rikers Island jail.”
According to People, she and Strangis were detained in a Tennessee hotel room after ordering a Domino’s pizza that wasn’t vegan. The two were accused of shortchanging employees and cheating investors out of more than $400,000 in sales taxes.
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Leon, Her Dog, What About Him?
Despite not being indestructible, Leon is still alive and well, having just turned 12 in March of last year. He frequently posts pictures of Leon reading nonfiction books on Melngailis’ Instagram, and he also has his own account, @oneluckyrescuedog, which Melngailis manages.
Leon has recently recovered from surgery due to a hematoma, and Melngailis discussed how the dog helps her stay grounded in an interview with the Netflix website Tudum(opens in new tab).
“I feel really grounded when Leon is around. When I’m anxious or unhappy, I will occasionally hold his face, gaze into his eyes, and reassure him that everything will be well. This helps me feel better. I guess I’m calming myself down. While some dogs become anxious when their owner leaves the house, with us, it’s the opposite. Leon is fine; I experience anxiety when I’m not with him “She remarked.
Sarma Is Dog-Obsessed and Now Resides in Harlem.
Sarma frequently includes photos of her dog Leon on Instagram since they are close. According to Vanity Fair, Sarma once thought that if she followed Anthony’s instructions, he would make her and Leon eternal.
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She Separated from Anthony Strangis.
Smith stated to Women’s Health that he believes Anthony was mostly responsible for the fraud.
“We do not believe that Sarma would have ever resorted to criminal activity on her own. She was extremely committed to this restaurant’s success and was under a great deal of stress and strain to make it happen “He elucidated.
If Anthony had not entered her life, we have no reason to believe that this would have occurred.
In 2018, Sarma filed for divorce from Anthony, as reported by the New York Daily News. During the trial, her attorney asserted that Anthony was abusive, and the documentary appears to support this claim.
The series executive producer, Ryann Fraser, told WH, “I have no doubt he gaslighted her.” “I believe it was verbal mental abuse. Multiple forms of abuse. I mean, it’s quite comprehensive. And that is awful.”
“The dominant narrative was akin to the tabloids’ depiction of them living the good life and staying in five-star hotels. It was simply a very different story from what we discovered “She continued.
Sarma disclosed on her website that she no longer communicates with Anthony.
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American chef, cookbook author, and entrepreneur Sarma Melngailis. She was the proprietor and co-founder of the vegan raw food restaurants Pure Food and Wine and One Lucky Duck in New York City. Sarma is dog-obsessed and now resides in Harlem.
According to Vanity Fair, Sarma once thought that if she followed Anthony’s instructions, he would make her and Leon eternal.