The owner and the manager of a Hamptons diner admitted in court Friday that they stole $132,000 from 23 workers, the state attorney general said.
Princess Diner owner Richard Bivona and manager John Kalogeras repeatedly failed to pay cooks, dishwashers and other workers and continually lied to them about when they would be paid, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said.
Bivona pleaded guilty to scheming to defraud and faces up to 6 months in jail when he is sentenced in Central Islip on June 15 by State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho, the attorney general said.
Kalogeras pleaded guilty to failure to pay wages and will not serve any jail time, Schneiderman said.
The defendants, both Suffolk County residents, also agreed to make full restitution to the workers, the attorney general said.
Kalogeras and his family sold the popular diner on Montauk Highway in Water Mill to Bivona in August 2016, and Bivona kept Kalogeras on as manager, the attorney general said.
The thefts took place between August 2016 and February 2018, Schneiderman said.
He said many of the workers lived off their cash tips because Bivona withheld most of their credit card tips or paid them only a partial amount of those tips.
The employees continued to work without pay because they hoped to eventually collect the money, the attorney general said, but they finally quit after months of failed promises.