February 01, 2019
Contact: SA Timothy Desmond
Phone Number: (617) 557-2100
Worcester restaurant manager pleads guilty to money laundering conspiracy and attempted witness tampering
BOSTON – A Worcester restaurant manager pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Worcester to conspiring with the wife of a convicted drug dealer to use drug proceeds to renovate and operate a Shrewsbury Street restaurant.
Joseph Herman, 37, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering, making false statements to federal investigators and attempted witness tampering. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman scheduled sentencing for May 28, 2019.
Between May 2017 and September 2017, Herman conspired with co-defendant Stacy Gala to launder the proceeds of illegal drug sales by Gala’s husband, Kevin A. Perry Jr. Herman worked as the manager of The Usual, a Worcester restaurant owned and operated by Perry and Gala. Herman admitted that, after Perry’s arrest in March 2017, he and Gala conspired to use Perry’s drug proceeds to renovate the restaurant and to reopen the business under a new name, “The Chameleon.” Herman also admitted that he lied to federal investigators about the source of the funds used to renovate the restaurant and attempted to convince another witness to falsely testify about Herman’s involvement in the money laundering scheme.
In October 2017, Perry pleaded guilty to money laundering and drug distribution charges and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Stacy Gala is scheduled for trial on May 6, 2019.
Herman faces up to 20 years in prison for the charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering and attempted witness tampering and up to five years in prison for making false statements to investigators. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S.Drug Enforcement Administration’s New England Division; United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; and Joseph W. Cronin, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Boston, made the announcement.