A Washington state cafe owner has been caught with her pants down: Carmela Panico — the owner of Java Juggs Espresso — has been charged with promoting prostitution and money laundering. According to Komo News, Panico was the "ringleader of a lucrative prostitution ring." Her bikini-clad baristas were caught on police surveillance tapes "doing much more than making lattes." Panico managed to make over $2 million between 2010 and 2013.
Baristas would make between $15,000 and $30,000 a month. However, Panico would dock their pay if they didn't wear enough make up or high enough heels. The Herald Net writes that the baristas told cops that a cup of coffee was $6 "and customers typically paid with a $20 bill. The baristas kept the rest to shake their breasts or expose their genitals." The cops were tipped off to the prostitution ring after they received complaints of baristas "baring their breasts to customers" for tips. Panico has supposedly sold or leased her six coffee stands, but a barista says a former manager still runs all of them and just pays rent to Panico. Go, watch the local news story:
Video: Owner Accused of Running Prostitution Ring
· Owner Accused of Running Prostitution Ring [Komo News]
· Coffee Stands Raked in Millions [Herald Net]
· All Breastaurant Coverage on Eater [-E-]