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Stavros “Steve” Papantoniadis, the owner of a Boston pizza shop, appeared in court on charges of forced labor.

Papantoniadis is accused of physically and verbally abusing seven undocumented workers while paying them low wages without breaks or overtime pay for approximately 14 years.

The U.S.

Attorney stated that some of the alleged victims required medical attention at hospitals after the assaults.

Papantoniadis is also accused of threatening to kill the undocumented employees or have them deported.

The defense argued that the alleged victims, who are now former employees, are making these accusations because the government is helping them obtain visas to stay in the country.

Family members and friends of Papantoniadis showed up in court to show their support.

The judge took the matter under advisement, meaning Papantoniadis will remain behind bars for now.

The investigation also produced possible evidence of unemployment fraud and SBA loan fraud, but Papantoniadis is not charged in connection with those matters at this time.

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