Amy's Baking House - Money Laundering
- If this place isn't a money laundering operation, I don't know what is.
- Sammy screamed 'Don't call the police'. This was one of the only things he really stood up to his wife on. I think Sammy is involved in serious criminal shit and he doesn't want Johnny Law to come poking around and causing any disruptions to the money losing business here. I’m not sure if the fact that they don’t trust anyone else to run the place has anything to do with that, or whether they’re just nuts. If they were smarter, I feel like they could let it run itself. See point #4 for a possible reason for that.
- The place is clearly hemorrhaging money. All those fresh veggies come at a huge premium in Arizona and no one is buying them since no one eats there. This is a tactic to inflate food costs and make the on-the-books profits (from crime) a bit more believable. You have high prices and ‘quality ingredients’ and on its face, it looks like a classy place dealing in high-quality, high-margin food that’s doing very, very well. In reality, they’re buying top-dollar with dirty money and selling nothing.
- Putting all of that money into the facilities, kitchen equipment and the dining area is a way to build tangible equity in a property, paid for by dirty money, of course. This is similar to how house flipping has become the new Las Vegas for cleaning dirty money. Even if you put 100k of criminal money into a house and sell it for 80k, you still made 80k in clean money (and the write off for the business loss – more clean money). And what you ask is Sammi’s other ‘legitimate’ business enterprise? Custom home building. Same fucking principle: Build equity in something tangible with dirty money, sell it (at a loss or profit, who gives a fuck) and money comes clean out the other side.
- The compensation structure for servers is just another money cleaning tactic. The money from tips never hits the books. It’s pocketed immediately and spent on gas, food, clothes etc. All the sorts of stuff that is bought in a day that isn’t traced and is used up (burned, eaten, thrown out etc.) when it’s done. You keep the clean, un-traceable cash coming in (tips), and then pay out more money in wages to lose money so that the money that comes in from crime doesn’t make the place look TOO profitable. If they weren’t so wretched and money hungry they would just let the girls work on tips like most people, but they’re so narcissistic, deluded and downright evil that they think they’re entitled to it and don’t know when to stop.
- They are mean to people because well, they’re nuts, but also because Sammy doesn’t actually give much of a fuck if many people come in or not. If a few quiet, agreeable customers come in and eat, so be it. For Sammy, this place is an annoyance. He hates being there and knows it’s a waste of his legitimate criminal time to have to deal with it. He was just stupid and married a crazy ‘trophy wife’ who thinks she can cook and the less he has to do in a day in terms of dealing with angry customers, the better. Hell, he might have married her BECAUSE he thought she was stupid enough to believe she’s making money when no one comes in. To me that’s why a lot of that bad food is just thrown away; otherwise she gets crazy and causes more disruptions to the fence.
- Ever wonder why he doesn’t know how to use the POS system, but insists on using it? Because one day one of those girls is going to see ALL of these tables and checks listed on there that never actually came in, and then she’ll ask why. Since she knows more about the system than he, she won’t buy the lie he tells her. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s a small part of the reason for the staff turnover: They don’t want anyone knowing too much.
- Because the thing is, at the end of the day, he can just make up checks and bills and act like all these customers came in and paid them lots of money for food, but just as long as the place isn’t completely empty all the time and then reporting big profits, there shouldn’t be any huge red flags so as long as the taxes keep coming into the IRS and the place keeps a quiet reputation.
- EDIT: Everyone is asking how I reconcile them going on tv for help. _____________________________
- Remember, Amy thinks her problem is not her food, their shared attitude, their sparse staff or her creepy eyes. It's internet haters. That's it. She is perfect in every way. She feels the downturn in her business is due solely to bad publicity. For people with such grandiose self-images, the only way to deal with this would be to go to the very top and have the biggest chef in the world come and say that their food is amazing. Bad publicity problem solved. Note too, those awesome desserts she fed Ramsey, that he really liked, were all store bought. But she claimed they were hers. She does not care about the food in that sense, as she's willing to lie about that as the first step to the good publicity that she thinks is the silver bullet to fixing what she feels to be unjustifiably tarnished public image.
- From Sammy's perspective, I think he's willing to take the small risk of having the cover blown on any laundering operation to sustain a good front and, like his wife, to try to, in his mind, restore the deservedly good reputation the place should rightly have. If he can somehow appease his wife, who I believe has him convinced she can cook, and keep the restaurant full so he doesn't need to butcher the receipts so much, he might be able to stop doing shady shit altogether or at least have a better front. Then, if the restaurant is running well, he can leave it for someone else to operate and he can stay home and watch Scarface 50 times.
- Essentially, I think HIS willingness to take this risk is rooted in their shared delusions about their own self values and they are willing to take the most drastic of measures to keep them as high as possible.