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)
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.