MYSTIC, Conn. (WTNH/AP) - The U.S. Treasury Department has seized more than $60,000 from a bank account of the owners of the Mystic Pizza restaurant made famous in a movie starring Julia Roberts.
A is the notice of seizure appeared in The Day newspaper out of New London . It refers to the seizure of $63,000 from the owners of Mystic Pizza from their account at Chelsea Groton Bank.
Mystic Pizza shot to worldwide fame after the 80's movie bearing its name and starring an up and coming actress by the name of Julia Roberts hit the silver screen. Now it's making front page news with word of an IRS investigation. The IRS wouldn't confirm that but did tell News 8 the statute listed in the notice which says there is a criminal investigation refers to money laundering.
"It's very surprising, yeah I haven't heard about even a hint of anything going on over there. They're a staple of our community," said Andrea Keller.
Keller manages the nearby Bartleby's Coffee Cafe in Mystic. She and others at the coffee shop know many who work at Mystic Pizza.
"Completely startled, can't believe it because they've been here forever and they've been a wonderful wonderful restaurant and pizzeria," said Ross Mandell, the coffee shop's owner.
Another person who knows the owners Joe Zelepos, George Zelepos and Christos Zelepos says there is no basis for this investigation. Meanwhile folks say the restaurant known for it's 'slices of heaven' hasn't had a fall from grace.
[Ross Mandell/Owner, Bartleby's Coffee Cafe]
"Well they've always been very kind to us here at Bartleby's and very nice so I'm going to hold out," Mandell said. "Being accused is not having actually done anything so I'm going to withhold judgment until I know a lot more."
The notice also says anyone who many claim ownership in the seized property should contact the IRS.
The Zelepos family owns Mystic Pizza in Mystic, Mystic Pizza II in North Stonington and the Mystic Pizza Food Co. No one answered the phones at the restaurants Thursday, and the owners didn't immediately return messages.
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