Owner and Manager of Grimaldi’s Pizzeria Are Charged With Wage Theft

The owner of Grimaldi’s Pizzeria and the manager of its Manhattan branch were arrested on Thursday and charged with stealing more than $20,000 in wages from at least seven employees.

Over the course of at least four years, the owner, Anthony Piscina, 63, and the manager, Frank Santora, 71, lied to and exploited pizza makers, salad preppers, busboys and dishwashers, the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, said at a news conference.

The seven workers are each owed between $500 to $8,000, according to court documents.

“What may appear to some as a relatively low dollar amount can have life-changing consequences when someone is making minimum wage,” Mr. Bragg said.

Both men pleaded not guilty to one felony charge of scheme to defraud and seven misdemeanor counts of wage theft. Following their arraignment at Manhattan Criminal Court Thursday afternoon, they were released without bail.

The original Grimaldi’s is near the Brooklyn Bridge.Credit…Emil Salman for The New York Times

Gerard Marrone, a lawyer representing both Mr. Piscina and Mr. Santora, said that the men were “blindsided” by the charges and weren’t fully aware of the accusations against them until several hours after their arrest.

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