Anthony Strangis (born September 10, 1972) is a 50 years old American convicted criminal whose exploits have been chronicled on the 2022 Netflix series, Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives.
Strangis was previously married to Sarma Melngailis, a famous restaurateur and trailblazer in the vegan raw food industry. Their marriage lasted for several years during which he allegedly coaxed her into pulling out hundreds of thousands of dollars from her business. These funds were spent on a luxurious life and by the end of the day, Melngailis’ restaurant went bust.
The couple was later declared wanted by the authorities and they embarked on a fugitive run that lasted for a year. They were eventually apprehended and handed jail terms with Strangis spending a year at the notorious Rikers Island prison.
The Real Truth about Anthony Strangis’ Background
Despite holding himself out as an individual who hailed from a wealthy background, Anthony Strangis actually comes from middle-class family background. He was born on the 10th of September 1972 in Massachusetts. He has a half-sister named McKaila Coulter.
Strangis and his half-sister spent the first few years of their life living with both parents. The two experienced some unhappy times as their parents often fought with each other. Their parents later divorced and they mostly grew up with their mom. Strangis grew up to be a loving and thoughtful brother. He however changed after he went to live with his dad in his 20s.
What is Anthony Strangis’ Nationality?
Anthony Strangis has American nationality and Caucasian ethnicity. There is however every possibility that he has lied to people about his nationality given that he has a track record of being a conman. He was previously convicted of grand theft and impersonating a police officer. There is therefore the possibility that he has impersonated other nationalities.
Who is Anthony Strangis’ Father?
The name of Anthony Strangis’ father is not publicly available. What is known is that his father often quarreled with his mom while their marriage lasted. They later divorced and Strangis was primarily raised by his mom. He later relocated to Florida in his 20s to live with his dad and that is where his character changed. He started lying about his identity and his wealth and his father backed him in those lies.
Was Anthony Strangis in the Military?
Anthony Strangis was never in the military. He however lied to people that he was a Navy Seal who participated in secret covert operations. Under this ruse, he made his former wife, Sarma Melngailis believe that he embarked on secret missions to places such as Africa. He also made her believe that he could give immortality to her and her pit bull.
Anthony Strangis’ First Marriage was to a Lady Named Stacy Avery
Anthony Strangis’ first marriage was to a lady named Stacy Avery. He met her while living in Florida in his 20s and they dated for a while. They later got married on the 20th of December 2003 in Las Vegas.
The couple’s marriage lasted for some time during which Avery got pregnant. Strangis reportedly pawned off her jewelry and electronics and left her in debt. He also abandoned her with their son.
He Married Vegan Restauranteur Sarma Melngailis in 2012
Anthony Strangis met his second wife, Sarma Melngailis, via Twitter in 2011. At that time, Melngailis was already a celebrity chef in the vegan raw food industry. Her restaurant’s clientele included celebrities such as Alec Baldwin and Chelsea Clinton. Ironically, it was during a conversation under one of Baldwin’s tweets that Melngailis and Strangis started talking.
They grew interested in each other over time and eventually wound up dating. They later got married in 2012 after Strangis convinced Melngailis to do so. The next three years of marriage would see Strangis get access to his wife’s cellphone, bank accounts, and emails. He also assumed a strong role in her thriving New York restaurant.
Strangis convinced his wife to transfer her restaurant’s funds into personal accounts and they squandered it on a luxurious lifestyle which included gambling, hotels in Europe, expensive Uber rides, etc. This lifestyle lasted for a while and affected Melngailis’ restaurant. She found it difficult to pay staff. She also had difficulties making returns to investors. The authorities got involved and she and Strangis fled from New York.
What Happened to Anthony Strangis?
Anthony Strangis and his wife spent a year running from the law. They were later apprehended in May 2016 in Tennessee after a pizza purchase tipped the authorities off. The couple were accused of stealing $844,000 from investors. They were also alleged to owe $40,000 in employees’ wages and $400,000 in unpaid taxes.
Strangis was charged with four counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, criminal tax fraud, and scheme to defraud. He copped a plea deal with the authorities and was given a one-year jail term and five-year probation. He was also ordered to pay $800,000 in restitution. The whole thing marked the end of his marriage to Sarma Melngailis and she divorced him in 2018.
The Anthony Strangis and Sarma Melngailis Scandal were Chronicled on the 2022 Netflix Series, Bad Vegan
The whole drama that went down between Anthony Strangis and Sarma Melngailis is the subject of the 2022 Netflix series, Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives. The series covered how they met, their fraud schemes, and how they were caught.
Melngailis was interviewed but Strangis refused to participate. He later released a statement through his lawyers stating that he was remorseful and took responsibility for his part in the whole thing. He also stated that he had gotten a job and was working hard to put the whole scandal behind him.
Where Is Anthony Strangis Now?
Anthony Strangis now lives in southern California and is a Republican Party operative. He has been fingered in a 2019 nude photo leak which led to the resignation of the Democratic congresswoman, Katie Hill. Strangis has also remarried. He got married to a conservative media personality, named Jennifer Van Laar on the 10th of August 2021.
Jennifer has however come out to say that the marriage was never serious and that she has filed for divorce. She also revealed that Strangis worked as a bodyguard for her.
What is Anthony Strangis’ Net Worth?
Anthony Strangis has a negative net worth. He owes $800,000 in restitution to his victims. He is also said to owe $20 million in federal tax liens. His half-sister revealed in 2022 that he borrowed money from her but was yet to pay her back. It is therefore safe to say that he doesn’t have much savings stashed away.