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BOSTON – A Worcester restaurant manager was sentenced today in federal court in Worcester for conspiring with the wife of a convicted drug dealer to use drug proceeds to renovate and operate a Shrewsbury Street restaurant.

Joseph Herman, 37, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman to 22 months in prison and one year of supervised release. Herman will also be ordered to pay forfeiture to be determined at a later date. In January 2019, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering, making false statements to federal investigators and attempted witness tampering.

Between May 2017 and September 2017, Herman conspired with co-defendant Stacey 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,” and ostensibly under new ownership.  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. In September 2020, Gala was sentenced to time served and three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; Joseph W. Cronin, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Boston; and Steven Sargent, Chief of the Worcester Police Department made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Greg A. Friedholm and John T. Mulcahy of Lelling’s Worcester Branch Office, prosecuted the case.

MIL Security OSI