US v. Vendstar (dba Multivend, LLC) et al.

Note: Under the "Justice for All Act of 2004," crime victims have certain rights described here.

 

           
     

Three cases have been filed in the Eastern District of New York that charge a total of 22 individuals with crimes in connection with Vendstar (Multivend, LLC):

  • Ten defendants were charged in United States v. Edward Morris Weaver, also known as “Ned;” Lawrence A. Kaplan; Scott M. Doumas; Mark Benowitz; Richard R. Goldberg; Richard Linick; Paul E. Raia; Howard S. Strauss; Wallace W. DiRenzo, also known as “Wally;” and James P. Ellis, also known as “Max Braddock,” “David Addison,” “Patrick Cosgrove,” and “Todd Parker;” Case No. 13 CR 120
     
  • One defendant has been charged in United States v. Theodore D. Heyman; Case No. 13 CR 500
     
  • Eleven defendants have been charged in United States v. Adam Abzug; Jeffrey T. Baird, also known as “Jay;” Dennis Daniele; Jay A. Friedman; Steven Gralnick, also known as “Robert;” Mark L. Harris, also known as “Harris Marks;” Iris Jumper; Michael C. Minotto, also known as “Dean;” Steven Rosenberg; Anthony Joseph Spinelli; and Barry Stern; Case No. 13 CR 501
   
 
   

Most recent update 11/18/14

11/18/14:  New sentencing hearings have been scheduled for some of the defendants.  The complete, revised schedule of sentencing hearings is as follows:

  • December 4, 2014, at 11:15 a.m.: Wallace W. DiRenzo, also known as “Wally” (Case Number 13CR120).

  • January 6, 2015, at 11:15 a.m.: Mark Benowitz and Howard S. Strauss (13CR120).

  • December 1, 2015, at 11:15 a.m.: Theodore D. Heyman (13CR500) and Adam Abzug (13CR501).

  • December 2, 2015, at 11:15 a.m.: Jeffrey T. Baird, also known as “Jay,” and Dennis Daniele (Case No. 13CR501).

  • December 3, 2015, at 11:15 a.m.: Jay A. Friedman and Steven Gralnick, also known as “Robert” (13CR501).

  • December 7, 2015, at 11:15 a.m.: Michael C. Minotto, also known as “Dean,” and Steven Rosenberg (13CR501).

  • December 8, 2015, at 11:15 a.m.: Anthony Joseph Spinelli and Barry Stern (13CR501).

  • December 9, 2015 at 11:15 a.m.:  Mark L. Harris, also known as “Harris Marks,” and Iris Jumper (13CR501).

Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein will preside over all of the sentencing hearings in Courtroom 1010 of the United States Courthouse at 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York, 11722.

 

11/5/14:  On November 4, 2014, Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein set a firm trial date of September 8, 2015, for defendants Edward Morris “Ned” Weaver, Lawrence A. Kaplan, Scott M. Doumas, Richard R. Goldberg, Richard Linick, and Paul E. Raia.  The trial will take place in Courtroom 1010 of the United States Courthouse at 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York, 11722.

9/5/14: In Case No. 13 CR 120, on September 4, 2014, Judge Feuerstein granted the motion of Francis X. Casale, Jr., to withdraw as the attorney for defendant Richard R. Goldberg. The judge indefinitely postponed the trial of defendants Weaver, Kaplan, Doumas, Goldberg, Linick, and Raia that had been scheduled to begin on September 29, 2014. The judge scheduled a status conference at 11:15 a.m. on November 3, 2014. The judge ordered new counsel for defendant Goldberg to enter an appearance before the status conference

7/15/14: In Case No. 13 CR 120, defendants Mark Benowitz and Howard S. Strauss pled guilty on July 14, 2014, and defendant Wallace W. DiRenzo, also known as “Wally,” pled guilty on July 10, 2014. Each defendant pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.

The following sentencing hearings have been scheduled before Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein in Courtroom 1010 of the United States Courthouse at 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York, 11722:

  • December 1, 2014, at 11:15 a.m.: Dennis Daniele (Case No. 13CR501).
  • December 2, 2014, at 11:15 a.m.: Steven Rosenberg (13CR501).
  • December 3, 2014, at 11:15 a.m.: Theodore D. Heyman (13CR500) and Jay A. Friedman (13CR501).
  • December 4, 2014, at 11:15 a.m.: Wallace W. DiRenzo, also known as “Wally” (13CR120) and Michael C. Minotto, also known as “Dean” (13CR501).
  • December 8, 2014, at 11:15 a.m.: Adam Abzug (13CR501).
  • December 9, 2014, at 11:15 a.m.: Barry Stern (13CR501).
  • December 10, 2014, at 11:15 a.m.: Jeffrey T. Baird, also known as “Jay” (13CR501).
  • December 11, 2014, at 11:15 a.m.: Steven Gralnick, also known as “Robert” (13CR501).
  • December 15, 2014, at 11:15 a.m.: Anthony Joseph Spinelli (13CR501).
  • December 16, 2014, at 11:15 a.m.: Mark L. Harris, also known as “Harris Marks” (13CR501).
  • December 17, 2014, at 11:15 a.m.: Iris Jumper (13CR501).
  • January 6, 2015, at 11:15 a.m.: Mark Benowitz and Howard S. Strauss (13CR120).

7/11/14: In Case No. 13 CR 120, a change of plea hearing for defendants Mark Benowitz and Howard S. Strauss is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on July 10, 2014, before Magistrate Judge Arlene R. Lindsay at the United States Courthouse, 100 Federal Plaza, 8th Floor, Central Islip, New York, 11722.

7/8/14: In Case No. 13 CR 120, a change of plea hearing for defendant Wallace W. DiRenzo, also known as “Wally,” is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on July 10, 2014, before Magistrate Judge Arlene R. Lindsay at Courtroom 910, United States Courthouse, 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, NY 11722.

11/21/13: In Case No. 13 CR 501, Adam Abzug, Jeffrey T. Baird (also known as “Jay”), Jay A. Friedman, Steven Gralnick (also known as “Robert”), Iris Jumper, Michael Minotto (also known as “Dean”), and Barry Stern pled guilty on November 19, 2013, to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. Abzug, Friedman, Gralnick, Jumper, and Minotto were sales representatives at Vendstar. Stern operated the warehouse and occasionally was involved in sales at Vendstar. Baird operated Advance Placement Services, a locating company that Vendstar sometimes recommended to potential customers.

Restitution is ordered at the time of sentencing. Sentencing hearings have not yet been scheduled for any of the defendants who have pled guilty. A restitution order does not guarantee that restitution will be paid. Under federal law, restitution is ordered in criminal cases, in general, on the basis of losses a defendant causes and without regard to the defendant’s ability to pay the restitution. See 18 U.S.C. § 3664 (f)(1)(A). Any restitution payments are paid to the Court and then shared among victims.

10/1/13: In Case 13 CR 500, Ted Heyman pled guilty on October 1, 2013, to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349. Heyman was the vice president of sales at Vendstar.

In Case No. 13 CR 501, Dennis Daniele, Mark Harris, and Steve Rosenberg pled guilty on September 24, 2013, and Anthony Joseph Spinelli pled guilty on October 1, 2013, to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. Daniele, Harris, Rosenberg, and Spinelli were sales representatives at Vendstar.

In Case No. 13 CR 501, the arraignment and guilty plea hearing for Adam Abzug, Jeffrey T. Baird (also known as “Jay”), Jay A. Friedman, Steven Gralnick (also known as “Robert”), Iris Jumper, Michael Minotto (also known as “Dean”), and Barry Stern has been rescheduled for 2 p.m on November 19, 2013, before Magistrate Judge Arlene R. Lindsay at the United States Courthouse, 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York, 11722.

Restitution is ordered at the time of sentencing. Sentencing hearings have not yet been scheduled for any of the defendants who have pled guilty. A restitution order does not guarantee that restitution will be paid. Under federal law, restitution is ordered in criminal cases, in general, on the basis of losses a defendant causes and without regard to the defendant’s ability to pay the restitution. See 18 U.S.C. § 3664 (f)(1)(A). Any restitution payments will go to the Court and will then be shared among victims.

9/18/13:  In Case No. 13 CR 501, defendants Dennis Daniele, Mark L. Harris (also known as “Harris Marks”), and Steven Rosenberg are scheduled to be arraigned and enter a guilty plea at 2 p.m. on September 24, 2013, before Magistrate Judge Arlene R. Lindsay at the United States Courthouse, 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York, 11722.  

In Case No. 13 CR 500, defendant Theodore D. Heyman is scheduled to be arraigned and enter a guilty plea at 2 p.m. on October 1, 2013, before Magistrate Judge Arlene R. Lindsay at the United States Courthouse, 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York, 11722.  

In Case No. CR 501, defendant Jeffrey T. Baird (also known as “Jay Baird”) is scheduled to be arraigned and enter a guilty plea at 2 p.m. on October 1, 2013, before Magistrate Judge Arlene R. Lindsay at the United States Courthouse, 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York, 11722.  

In Case No. 13 CR 501, defendants Jay A. Friedman, Iris Jumper, Michael C. Minotto (also known as “Dean Minotto”), and Barry Stern are scheduled to be arraigned and enter a guilty plea at 2 p.m. on October 8, 2013, before Magistrate Judge Arlene R. Lindsay at the United States Courthouse, 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York, 11722.  

In Case No. 13 CR 501, defendants Adam Abzug, Steven Gralnick (also known as “Robert Gralnick”), and Anthony Joseph Spinelli are scheduled to be arraigned and enter a guilty plea at 2 p.m. on October 9, 2013, before Magistrate Judge Arlene R. Lindsay at the United States Courthouse, 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York, 11722.  

9/12/13:  Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein scheduled the trial of Edward Morris Weaver (also known as “Ned”), Lawrence A. Kaplan, Scott M. Doumas, Mark Benowitz, Richard R. Goldberg, Richard Linick, Paul E. Raia, Howard Strauss, and Wallace W. DiRenzo (also known as “Wally”) to begin on September 29, 2014.  The trial will take place in Courtroom 1010 of the United States Courthouse at 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York, 11722.  This is Case No. 13 CR 120.

The United States filed charges against 12 additional individuals in the Eastern District of New York in connection with Multivend LLC, d/b/a Vendstar (“Vendstar”), which sold a business opportunity involving bulk candy vending machines. 

In Case No. 13 CR 500, Vendstar vice president of sales Ted Heyman was charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

In Case No. 13 CR 501, the following charges were filed:

  • Vendstar sales representative Adam Abzug was charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
  • Jeffrey T. Baird, who used the name “Jay Baird” and operated Advance Placement Services, Inc., was charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
  • Vendstar sales representative Dennis Daniele was charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
  • Vendstar sales representative Jay Friedman was charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
  • Vendstar sales representative Steven Gralnick, who used the name “Robert Gralnick,” was charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
  • Vendstar sales representative Mark Harris, who used the name “Harris Marks,” was charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
  • Vendstar sales representative Iris Jumper was charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
  • Vendstar sales representative Michael Minotto, who used the name “Dean Minotto,” was charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
  • Vendstar sales representative Steve Rosenberg was charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
  • Vendstar sales representative Anthony Joseph Spinelli was charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
  • Barry Stern, who was involved in shipping, receiving, purchasing, operating the warehouse, factory operations, and occasionally in sales, was charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

For a copy of the charging document filed against Heyman, click here.

For a copy of the charging document filed against Abzug, Baird, Daniele, Friedman, Gralnick, Harris, Jumper, Minotto, Rosenberg, Spinelli, and Stern, click here.

These charging documents, known as “informations,” contain only accusations against the defendants and are not evidence of guilt.  The defendants should be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

9/4/13:  Any defendant convicted of the charges will be ordered to pay restitution at the time of sentencing. At this time, only one defendant (James P. Ellis) has been convicted, and he has not yet been sentenced. Under federal law, restitution is ordered in criminal cases, in general, on the basis of losses a defendant causes and without regard to the defendant’s ability to pay the restitution. See 18 U.S.C. § 3664 (f)(1)(A), which provides: "In each order of restitution, the court shall order restitution to each victim in the full amount of each victim’s losses as determined by the court and without consideration of the economic circumstances of the defendant." Any restitution payments will go to the Court and will then be shared among victims. A restitution order does not guarantee that restitution will be paid. If restitution is paid, it likely will be a small percentage of the total amount lost.

6/12/13:  James P. Ellis pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Ellis used the aliases “Max Braddock,” “David Addison,” “Patrick Cosgrove,” and “Todd Parker,” and was involved in operating Vending Dreams, Priority Placements, Clear Vision Marketing, Map Marketing, Vend Smart, and Secure Placement. Ellis will remain free on bond until he is sentenced. A date for his sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.

A trial date for the remaining nine defendants has not yet been scheduled. A status conference before Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein is scheduled on September 12, at 11:15 a.m., in Courtroom 1010 of the United States Courthouse at 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York, 11722.

6/5/13:  A hearing at which defendant James P. Ellis is expected to plead guilty is scheduled before Magistrate Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson at 1 p.m. on June 12, 2013, at Courtroom 910, Long Island Courthouse, 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, NY 11722.

5/1/13: A grand jury in the Eastern District of New York returned a superseding indictment against Edward Morris Weaver, also known as “Ned;” Lawrence A. Kaplan; Scott M. Doumas; Mark Benowitz; Richard R. Goldberg; Richard Linick; Paul E. Raia; Wallace W. DiRenzo, also known as “Wally;” and James P. Ellis, also known as “Max Braddock,” “David Addison,” “Patrick Cosgrove,” and “Todd Parker.” All 10 defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in connection with the sale of vending machine business opportunities by Multivend, LLC, d/b/a Vendstar. Some of the defendants also face charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, and/or making a false statement.

For a copy of the indictment, click here.

The superseding indictment contains only accusations against the defendants and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants should be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

4/8/13: U.S. District Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein held an initial status conference in the Eastern District of New York. Another status conference is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. on July 11, 2013, in Courtroom 1010 of the United States Courthouse at 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York, 11743.

2/22/13: U.S. District Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum granted the defendants’ motion to transfer the case from the Southern District of Florida to the Eastern District of New York. This website will be updated when the case is assigned to a new judge and has a new trial date.

11/20/12: U.S. District Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum scheduled the trial to begin on September 23, 2013. The trial will take place at the Federal Courthouse at 299 E. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

10/12/12: On October 10, 2012, an indictment was unsealed in which 10 individuals were charged in connection with Multivend LLC, d/b/a Vendstar (“Vendstar”), which sold a business opportunity involving bulk candy vending machines.

• Vendstar president and chief executive officer Edward Morris “Ned” Weaver was charged with conspiracy, mail fraud, and wire fraud.

• Vendstar technical support manager Lawrence A. Kaplan was charged with conspiracy, mail fraud, and wire fraud.

• Vendstar sales manager and sales representative Scott M. Doumas was charged with conspiracy.

• Vendstar sales representative Mark Benowitz was charged with conspiracy and mail fraud.

• Vendstar sales representative Richard R. Goldberg was charged with conspiracy and wire fraud.

• Vendstar sales representative Richard Linick was charged with conspiracy and wire fraud.

• Vendstar sales representative Paul E. Raia was charged with conspiracy and mail fraud.

• Vendstar sales representative Howard S. Strauss was charged with conspiracy and wire fraud.

• Wallace W. “Wally” DiRenzo, who operated Nationwide Locating Company, was charged with conspiracy and mail fraud.

• James P. Ellis, who used the aliases “Max Braddock,” “Patrick Cosgrove,” “Todd Parker” and operated Vending Dreams, Priority Placements, Clear Vision Marketing, Map Marketing, and Secure Placement, was charged with conspiracy. For additional information, see the Department of Justice Press Release dated October 10, 2012.

The indictment contains only accusations against the defendants and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants should be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 
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Consumer Protection
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