Vendstar / Multivend, LLC

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 12/0216


12/02/16: Several additional defendants were sentenced this week:

  • Vendstar salesman Dennis Daniele was sentenced to 3 years of probation, including 6 months of community service, and was ordered to pay $444,320.19 in restitution.
     
  • Vendstar salesman Jay A. Friedman was sentenced to 2 years of probation and ordered to pay $212,284 in restitution.
     
  • Vendstar salesman Steven Gralnick, who used the name “Robert Gralnick” at Vendstar, was sentenced to 2 years of probation and ordered to pay $142,180 in restitution.
     
  • Vendstar salesman Mark Harris, who used the name “Harris Marks” at Vendstar, was sentenced to 2 years of probation, including 500 hours of community service, and was ordered to pay $309,574.06 in restitution.
     
  • Vendstar salesman Steven Rosenberg was sentenced to 3 years of probation, including 6 months of home confinement, and was ordered to pay $302,728.90 in restitution.
     
  • Vendstar salesman and warehouse manager Barry Stern was sentenced to 2 years of probation.

    In addition, District Judge Joan M. Azrack held an evidentiary hearing regarding Vendstar salesman Richard Linick’s motion for acquittal or a new trial.  The judge did not rule on the motion or set a date for sentencing.

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11/28/16: Two hearings have been rescheduled

  • The evidentiary hearing regarding Richard Linick is now scheduled to begin on November 30, 2016, at 3:30 p.m.
     
  • The sentencing hearing regarding Mark Harris, also known as “Harris Marks,” is now scheduled for Decmeber 1, 2016, at 2:30 p.m.

The hearings will take place District Judge Joan M. Azrack at the United States Courthouse, 100 Federal Plaza, Courtroom 920, Central Islip, New York, 11722.

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11/18/16: Three additional defendants have been sentenced

  • Theodore D. “Ted” Heyman, Vendstar’s vice president of sales, was sentenced to 2 years in prison, 3 year of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $2.6 million in restitution.  Heyman was ordered to report to prison on January 13, 2017.
     
  • Jeffrey T. “Jay” Baird, the operator of Advance Placement Services, was sentenced to 2 years of probation and ordered to pay $101,086 in restitution.
     
  • Adam Abzug, a Vendstar sales representative, was sentenced to 2 years of probation.  Restitution will be ordered later.


Three sentencing hearings have been rescheduled:

  • Defendant Steven Rosenberg is now scheduled to be sentenced on December 1, 2016, at 2 p.m.
     
  • Defendant James P. Ellis, also known as “Patrick Cosgrove” and “Todd Parker,” is now scheduled to be sentenced on January 4, 2017, at 11:30 a.m.
     
  • Defendant Anthony “Joe” Spinelli is now scheduled to be sentenced on January 4, 2017, at 3 p.m.


Sentencing hearings are open to the public and victims who are present may be given the opportunity to speak.  All of the sentencing hearings will take place District Judge Joan M. Azrack at the United States Courthouse, 100 Federal Plaza, Courtroom 920, Central Islip, New York, 11722.

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11/14/16: Two sentencing hearings have been rescheduled:

November 17, 2016

  • 10 a.m.: Jeffrey T. “Jay” Baird, Operator of Advance Placement Services locating company.
    Defendant Jeffrey T. “Jay” Baird, the operator of Advance Placement Services, is now scheduled to be sentenced at 10 a.m. on November 17, 2016, instead of at 4 p.m. on November 17, 2016.
     

December 20, 2016

  • 10:30 a.m.: Scott M. Doumas, Vendstar Sales Manager/Sales Representative
    Defendant Scott M. Doumas, a Vendstar sales manager and sales representative, is now scheduled to be sentenced at 10:30 a.m. on December 20, 2016, instead of at 2:30 p.m. on November 17, 2016.


The sentencing schedule listed in the 10/31/16 update below otherwise remains current. 
All of the sentencing hearings will take place District Judge Joan M. Azrack at the United States Courthouse, 100 Federal Plaza, Courtroom 920, Central Islip, New York, 11722.


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11/4/16: On November 3, 2016, Judge Joan M. Azrack sentenced defendant Edward Morris “Ned” Weaver to 60 months in prison and defendant Lawrence A. Kaplan to 54 months in prison.  Weaver was the president and chief executive officer of Vendstar.  Kaplan was Vendstar’s technical support manager.  The judge ordered both defendants to report to the Bureau of Prisons on January 9, 2017.  The judge indicated that she would order restitution within 30 to 90 days.

Learn more in the press release.

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10/31/16:The sentencing hearings of several defendants convicted of fraud in connection with Vendstar have been postponed. The new complete schedule is below. All of the hearings will take place District Judge Joan M. Azrack at the United States Courthouse, 100 Federal Plaza, Courtroom 920, Central Islip, New York, 11722.

November 3, 2016

  • 3 p.m.: Edward Morris “Ned” Weaver, Vendstar President and Chief Executive Officer
  • 4 p.m.: Lawrence A. Kaplan, Vendstar Technical Support Manager
     

November 10, 2016

  • 11 a.m.: Adam Abzug, Vendstar Sales Representative
     

November 17, 2016

  • 11 a.m.: Theodore D. Heyman, Vendstar Vice President of Sales
  • 2:30 p.m.: Scott M. Doumas, Vendstar Sales Manager/Sales Representative
  • 4 p.m.: Jeffrey T. “Jay” Baird, Operator of Advance Placement Services locating company
     

November 30, 2016

  • 11 a.m.: Barry Stern, Vendstar Sales Representative/Warehouse
  • 12:30 p.m.: Richard Linick, Vendstar Sales Representative (this is an evidentiary hearing, not a sentencing hearing)
  • 2 p.m.: Jay A. Friedman, Vendstar Sales Representative
  • 3 p.m.: Steven “Robert” Gralnick, Vendstar Sales Representative
  • 4 p.m.: Mark Harris, also known as “Harris Marks,” Vendstar Sales Representative
     

December 1, 2016

  • 11 a.m.: Dennis Daniele, Vendstar Sales Representative
  • 2 p.m.: James P. Ellis, also known as “Patrick Cosgrove” and “Todd Parker,” Operator of Vending Dreams, Priority Placements, Clear Vision Marketing, Map Marketing, and Secure Placement locating companies
  • 3 p.m.: Steven Rosenberg, Vendstar Sales Representative
  • 4 p.m.: Anthony Joseph Spinelli, Vendstar Sales Representative


January 4, 2017

  • 3:30 p.m.: Iris Jumper, Vendstar Sales Representative


January 5, 2017

  • 10:30 a.m.:Michael C. “Dean” Minotto, Vendstar Sales Representative
  • 2 p.m.: Richard R. Goldberg, Vendstar Sales Representative
  • 3:30 p.m.: Paul E. Raia, Vendstar Sales Representative

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7/28/16: The following sentencing hearings in connection with the Vendstar case have been scheduled before
District Judge Joan M. Azrack at the United States Courthouse, Courtroom 920, 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York, 11722:

November 2, 2016

  • 11 a.m.: Paul E. Raia, Sales Representative
    (Case No. 13CR120)
     
  • 2 p.m.: – Richard Linick, Sales Representative
    (Case No. 13CR120)
     
  • 4 p.m.: – Richard R. Goldberg, Sales Representative
    (Case No. 13CR120)
     

November 3, 2016

  • 11 a.m.: Scott M. Doumas, Sales Manager/Sales Representative
    (Case No. 13CR120)
     
  • 2 p.m.: Lawrence A. Kaplan, Technical Support Manager
    (Case No. 13CR120)
     
  • 4 p.m.: Edward Morris “Ned” Weaver, President/Chief Executive Officer
    (Case No. 13CR120)
     

November 10, 2016

  • 11 a.m.:  Adam Abzug, Sales Representative
    (Case No. 13CR501)
     
  • 2 p.m.: Iris Jumper, Sales Representative
    (Case No. 13CR501)
     
  • 4 p.m.: Steven Rosenberg, Sales Representative 
    (Case No. 13CR501)
     

November 17, 2016

  • 11 a.m.: Theodore D. Heyman, Vice President of Sales
    (Case No. 13CR500)
     
  • 2 p.m.: Michael C. “Dean” Minotto, Sales Representative
    (Case No. 13CR501)
     
  • 4 p.m.: Jeffrey T. “Jay” Baird, Operator of Advance Placement Services
    (Case No. 13CR501)
     

November 30, 2016

  • 11 a.m.: Barry Stern, Sales Representative/Shipping/Warehouse
    (Case No. 13CR501)
     
  • 2 p.m.: Jay A. Friedman, Sales Representative
    (Case No. 13CR501)
     
  • 3 p.m.: Steven “Robert” Gralnick, Sales Representative
    (Case No. 13CR501)
     
  • 4 p.m.: Mark Harris, also known as “Harris Marks,” Sales Representative
    (Case No. 13CR501)
     

December 1, 2016

  • 11 a.m.: Dennis Daniele, Sales Representative
    (Case No. 13CR501)
     
  • 2 p.m.: James P. Ellis, also known as “Patrick Cosgrove” and “Todd Parker,” Operator of Vending Dreams, Priority Placements, Clear Vision Marketing, Map Marketing, and Secure Placement
    (Case No. 13CR501)
     
  • 4 p.m.: Anthony Joseph Spinelli, Sales Representative
    (Case No. 13CR501)

 

11/16/15:  In Case Numbers 13CR500 and 13CR501, the sentencing hearings that were previously scheduled in December 2015 for defendants Theodore D. Heyman, 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”), Michael C. Minotto (also known as “Dean”), Steven Rosenberg, Anthony Joseph Spinelli, and Barry Stern have been postponed.  New sentencing dates have not been scheduled.  When new sentencing dates have been scheduled, they will be posted on this website.

11/10/15:  On November 5, a jury in Central Islip, New York, found the CEO of Multivend, LLC, d/b/a/ Vendstar, two other Vendstar managers, and three Vendstar sales representatives guilty of fraud. After a 6-week trial, Vendstar president and CEO Edward “Ned” Weaver and technical support manager Larry Kaplan, who handled customer complaints, were each found guilty of one count of conspiracy, six counts of mail or wire fraud, and one count of making false statements to the FBI. Sales manager and sales representative Scott M. Doumas was found guilty of one count of conspiracy and one count of mail fraud. Sales representatives Richard R. Goldberg and Richard Linick were each found guilty of one count of conspiracy and one count of wire fraud. Sales representative Paul E. Raia was found guilty of one count of conspiracy and two counts of wire fraud.

Vendstar, which was based in Deer Park, New York, sold vending machine business opportunities until July 2010 to consumers throughout the United States. Evidence introduced during trial showed that Vendstar defrauded approximately 7,000 consumers of $60 million from 2005-2010. The defendants made misrepresentations about profits, operating their own vending routes, locations, and ongoing customer support to induce the victims to buy what was advertised as a complete business package, but turned out to be essentially worthless.

The defendants will remain free on bond until their sentencing hearings, which have not yet been scheduled. Restitution will not be ordered until the defendants are sentenced.

A total of 22 individuals have now been convicted in connection with Vendstar. Sixteen other Vendstar managers, sales representatives, and operators of “locating” companies that worked with Vendstar pled guilty before trial.

For a copy of the press release, click here.

7/21/15:  On July 16, 2015, U.S. District Court Judge Joan M. Azrack sentenced Howard S. Strauss to 2 years and 4 months in prison and Mark Benowitz to 2 years in prison.  Both Strauss and Benowitz were Vendstar sales representatives who pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.  Strauss, 66, of Jericho, New York, was also ordered to pay $2,291,844 in restitution to 230 victims.  Benowitz, 68, of Midlothian, Virginia, was ordered to pay $997,210 in restitution to 103 victims.  There is no parole in the federal system.  Prisoners can earn up to 15% off for good behavior.

For a copy of the press release, click here.

5/28/15:  The sentencing hearing for defendant Howard S. Strauss has been rescheduled for 2:30 p.m. on July 16, 2015, before Judge Joan M. Azrack at the United States Courthouse, Courtroom 920, 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York, 11722.

5/13/15:  The trial of Edward Morris “Ned” Weaver, Lawrence A. Kaplan, Scott M. Doumas, Richard R. Goldberg, Richard Linick, and Paul E. Raia has been rescheduled.  The trial is now scheduled to begin on September 28, 2015, before Judge Joan M. Azrack at the United States Courthouse, Courtroom 920, 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York, 11722.  A status conference is scheduled before Judge Azrack at 2:00 p.m. on September 10, 2015.

The sentencing hearing for defendant Mark Benowitz has been rescheduled for 11:00 a.m. on July 16, 2015, before Judge Azrack.

4/20/15:  On April 13, Judge Joan M. Azrack sentenced Wallace W. DiRenzo, also known as “Wally,” to one year and one day in prison.  DiRenzo was the owner of Nationwide Locating Company, which was based in south Florida and was one of the locating companies to which Vendstar referred potential customers.  In conversations with potential buyers of the business opportunity that Vendstar was selling, DiRenzo affirmed misrepresentations by Vendstar’s sales representatives about the availability of locations, the profitability of the business, and the ease of operating the business. 

Judge Azrack ordered DiRenzo to pay $154,127 in restitution to 16 victims.  Restitution relating to DiRenzo was ordered for individuals known to the Department of Justice and the U.S. Probation Office at the time of sentencing to have been victimized by DiRenzo’s criminal conduct.  Other Vendstar purchasers may receive restitution if the salesperson or other person responsible for the purchaser’s loss is convicted. 

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.

4/1/15:  Sentencing hearings have been scheduled for some of the defendants.  The schedule is as follows:

  • The sentencing hearing for defendant Mark Benowitz has been rescheduled for 11:30 a.m. on June 4, 2015. 
     
  • The sentencing hearing defendant Howard S. Strauss has been rescheduled for 2:30 p.m. on June 4, 2015. 

Benowitz and Strauss both were sales representatives at Vendstar. Both sentencing hearings will take place before Judge Joan M. Azrack at the United States Courthouse, Courtroom 920, 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York, 11722. 

  • A status conference regarding defendants Edward Morris “Ned” Weaver, Lawrence A. Kaplan, Scott M. Doumas, Richard R. Goldberg, Richard Linick, and Paul E. Raia has been scheduled before Judge Azrack at 2:00 p.m. on May 7, 2015.

3/24/15:  This case has been reassigned to Judge Joan M. Azrack.  All sentencing hearings and other proceedings will take place before Judge Azrack, not Judge Feuerstein.

The sentencing hearing for defendant Wallace W. DiRenzo, also known as “Wally,” has been rescheduled for 11:00 a.m. on April 13, 2015, before Judge Joan M. Azrack at the United States Courthouse, 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York, 11722

3/2/15:  The sentencing hearing for defendant Wallace W. DiRenzo, also known as “Wally,” has been rescheduled for 11:15 a.m. on March 30, 2015, before Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein in Courtroom 1010 of the United States Courthouse at 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York, 11722.

2/19/15:  Sentencing hearings have been scheduled for some of the defendants.  The schedule is as follows:

  • The sentencing hearing for defendant Howard S. Strauss, who was a Vendstar sales representative, has been rescheduled for 11:15 a.m. on April 21, 2015.
     
  • The sentencing hearing for defendant Mark Benowitz, who was a Vendstar sales representative, has been rescheduled for 11:15 a.m. on June 3, 2015.
     
  • The sentencing hearing for defendant Wallace W. DiRenzo, also known as “Wally,” who operated Nationwide Locating Company, remains scheduled for 11:15 a.m. on March 3, 2015.
     
  • The sentencing hearings will take place before Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein in Courtroom 1010 of the United States Courthouse at 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York, 11722.


12/10/14:  The sentencing hearing for defendant Wallace W. DiRenzo, also known as “Wally,” in Case Number 13CR120 has been rescheduled for 11:15 a.m. on March 3, 2015.

The sentencing hearing for Mark Benowitz and Howard S. Strauss in Case Number 13CR120 has been rescheduled for 11:15 a.m. on March 4, 2015. 

Both sentencing hearings will take place before Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein in Courtroom 1010 of the United States Courthouse at 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York, 11722. 

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.

 
Topic: 
Consumer Protection
Industry Code: 
Business Services, Not Elsewhere Classified
Component: 
Civil Division
Updated December 2, 2016