Vegan restaurant queen jailed over million-dollar scam

The owner of a famous vegan eatery has been jailed for stealing money from investors, tax fraud, and not paying employees.

Sarma Melngailis took $840,000 from investors and siphoned $1.6 million from her business accounts.

She will serve three-and-a-half months' jail time and five years' probation, and has been ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution, Channel 7 reports.

Police said they tracked Melngailis down after she and her husband ordered Domino's. She was arrested in 2015 and sentenced this week.

The pair allegedly blew millions at a casino, and were caught out after failing to pay workers for months.

The Pure Food and Wine restaurant she owns in New York is frequented by celebrities, and Alec Baldwin even met his wife there.

Melngailis has been described as the "queen" of the New York restaurant scene.

Newshub.