(John Del Signore) Why bother keeping your restaurant sanitary when you can just hang a photocopy of an "A" grade from the Health Department in your window? This is allegedly what happened with nine restaurants throughout New York City that paid Anastasios Kountis hundreds of dollars to represent them at their appeal to the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (“OATH”). But according to investigators, in some cases Kountis never even showed up for the appeal hearing, and simply gave his clients a Xerox copy of an "A" grade, telling them everything went great.
The Department of Investigation doesn't believe the restaurant owners knew they were getting bogus "A" grades—some restaurant owners showed investigators text messages from Kountis, 32, indicating that he was delivering their legit "A" grades. In one instance, he even installed the "A" grade in a restaurant window himself, prosecutors allege. Read the full announcement here [pdf].
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Mario Tama