EVERETT — The owner of bikina barista coffee stands who is under investigation for allegedly using her drive-thrus as prostitution fronts has filed suit against the city and the police chief, demanding police return $250,000 they seized from her home in June.
The Everett Herald reported that Carmela Panico, 51, owner of Java Juggs and Twin Peaks coffee stands, recently filed suit alleging detectives wrongfully seized $250,000 and a 2012 Ford Expedition from her Snohomish home during their investigation.
The Herald said the lawsuit was filed after city officials notified Panico they planned to keep the cash, alleging it was proceeds from criminal activity, including money laundering.
Panico was arrested in June for allegedly promoting prostitution at her espresso stands.
No charges have been filed against anyone in the case.
Police investigators told the Herald that Panico bought seven espresso stands in the last five years and an eighth stand in the last few weeks – and that she is still under investigation.