News

Menlo Park: Former dry cleaner faces prison term for defrauding customers

Edwin Gary Smith pleads no contest to eight felonies

Edwin Gary Smith, the former owner of Menalto Dry Cleaners in the Willows neighborhood of Menlo Park, pleaded no contest on Friday, July 8, to eight felonies: one count of fraudulent use of "an access card" for grand theft, and seven counts of identity theft, according to San Mateo County prosecutors.

In a plea bargain, Mr. Smith, 64, agreed to a maximum prison term of eight years and agreed that the court could order payment of restitution to all victims and on all counts, including counts that were dismissed, prosecutors said.


E. Gary Smith. (Photo by Michelle Le)
The initial charges against Mr. Smith included 40 counts of identity theft, 20 counts of credit card fraud, and 19 counts of elder abuse in connection with losses of over $350,000, prosecutors said.

A sentencing hearing is set for Oct. 4. Mr. Smith is out of custody on $350,000 bail.

Mr. Smith, who had customers' credit card numbers on file for monthly billing for dry cleaning services, was accused of making unauthorized charges to those cards, prosecutors said.

Several customers allegedly confronted Mr. Smith about the unauthorized charges and Mr. Smith allegedly agreed to pay them back, but did not and continued to make unauthorized charges, prosecutors said.

Two customers alerted police and others came forward after an investigation, prosecutors said.

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Comments

6 people like this
Posted by A neighbor
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 5, 2016 at 1:55 pm

And the sentence is?

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EDITOR'S NOTE: The sentencing hearing has been reset for Nov. 2.


4 people like this
Posted by Former Customer
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 10, 2016 at 1:29 pm

I understand it got postponed for another month, but can't verify and confirm this as was 3rd hand information.


6 people like this
Posted by Overcharged Customer
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 5, 2016 at 9:37 am

November 2nd has come and gone. Has there been an update?


4 people like this
Posted by A neighbor
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 10, 2016 at 3:49 pm

Come on, Almanac! What is the current status, please?


4 people like this
Posted by Overcharged Customer
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 15, 2016 at 12:22 pm

I can't seem to find anything new. Was part of the plea deals and repayment agreement grounds for the District Attorney not to recommend any jail time? This was a rather extensive crime and I bet there are others that were affected beyond the original large-scale claims (like me for instance).


5 people like this
Posted by Unsubscriber to the Almanac
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 17, 2016 at 5:42 pm

Got to love the reporting the Almanac does. Great teaser article and no one follows up on the news to let us know what is happening. Now I have to keep using my "free" credits to reread the same articles trying to find updates.


EDITOR'S NOTE: District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe reported on Nov. 3: "The defense motion to continue his review of all the records regarding restitution owed by the defendant was granted without prosecution objection. The case was reset to December 1, 2016 8:45 for sentencing hearing and imposition of sentence."


1 person likes this
Posted by Former Customer
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Dec 2, 2016 at 8:05 am

And the verdict is?


Like this comment
Posted by Renee Batti
associate editor of The Almanac
on Dec 2, 2016 at 11:49 am

Renee Batti is a registered user.

Former Customer, here's the story:

Web Link


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