Written by Daniel Offner Friday, 27 December 2013 00:00
Local hardware store owner Thomas Schuman, 45, has pled guilty to falsifying records, after attempting to pilfer tens of thousands of dollars through a rebate program provided by the Long Island Power Authority.
According to officials with the Nassau County District Attorney’s office, Schuman—the owner of the Four Star True Value Variety Store on Main Street in downtown Farmingdale—participated in LIPA’s compact fluorescent light (CFL) coupon rebate program, from 2009 to 2011. The program would allow stores to provide discounts on CFLs ranging from 50 cents to $3 per bulb. Buyers would fill out a rebate coupon for the store to submit to LIPA, and LIPA would then reimburse the store.
Towards the end of 2011, LIPA conducted an audit and discovered that Four Star had submitted 923 fraudulent rebate coupons and was reimbursed $22,240. A subsequent investigation by the DA’s office later revealed that Schuman instructed his employees to fill out the vouchers. Investigators uncovered that Schuman would give his cashiers a daily quota of vouchers to fill and instructed them to use the phone book to find people who lived in the surrounding area and fill out a voucher in his or her name, even though they didn’t purchase a CFL from the store and may never have been a customer of Four Star at all. In the first fiscal quarter of 2011, investigators learned that Four Star was submitting approximately five coupons on behalf of each purported customer and that Four Star submitted 66 percent more rebate coupons than all of the Lowe’s hardware stores on Long Island combined.
In addition, Schuman and Four Star were found to have stolen $19,200 from the utility as a participant in a LIPA-sponsored advertising program that reimbursed merchants that advertised the sale of CFLs. While Schuman did in fact advertise the sale of CFLs in the Long Island Pennysaver or Clipper magazine, the invoices submitted showed Schuman had inflated the actual advertising costs in order to be eligible for a higher rebate.
On Dec. 20, Schuman pled guilty to Offering a False Instrument for Filings in the Second Degree and his corporation pled guilty to Grand Larceny in the Third Degree.
“Thomas Schuman cheated Long Island electricitiy ratepayers with his scam and this sentence will ensure that is neighbors don’t end up footing the bill for his greed,” said Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice. “I’m grateful for the cooperation of LIPA officials to help us bring this defendant to justice.”
Schuman will pay $35,000 up-front restitution to LIPA and was sentenced to 210 hours of community service and a conditional discharge by Judge Scott Fairgrieve on Dec. 20. He is also paying a $1,000 fine.
Saturday, 08 March 2014 00:00
It may have been a polar vortex outside, but inside Farmingdale’s Village hall things were heating up with the first annual Winter wonderland. Close to 800 people filled the village hall over two hours on a frigid Wednesday evening to eat, laugh, and mingle with Main
Street’s finest, the business owners. While K 98.3 played music outside, inside the wonderful aromas of a variety of hot food from the local restaurants filled the air. There were rice balls, and chicken picatta, pastas and meat balls supplied by Cascarino’s and Palmer’s
Grill, along with Shepard’s pie, hot wings from Croxley’s Ale House. The guacamole from Caracara Mexican Grill was so fresh and delicious it would make a Texan jealous. There were 37 business represented all giving away free samples, food, and discounts to a packed crowd ranging in age from infants to seniors.
Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00
On Feb. 27, parents in the Farmingdale, East Meadow, Massapequa and Levittown school districts came together for an informal panel discussion on the New York State Education Department and the implementation of the state Common Core Learning Standards.
Panelists included New York State Assemblyman Thomas McKevitt, Jeanette Deutermann of the Long Island Opt Out Facebook page, and former public school teacher David Greene, who came to the Farmingdale Public Library to talk with local parents about key concerns and questions with the curriculum.
An outspoken parent and founder of the Long Island Opt Out movement, Deutermann delved into some of the factors behind what led to the state’s adoption of the Common Core, and how the state education department cites High School graduation rates as its reasoning behind the curriculum.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
On an uncharacteristically beautiful, Feb. 23, the local running community responded in a big way. Between 450 and 500 people showed up at the Runner’s Edge in Farmingdale for the annual Winter Fun Run co-sponsored by the Runner’s Edge and the Greater Long Island Running Club.
Thursday, 27 February 2014 00:00
Oyster Bay Town Councilman Anthony D. Macagnone (center) recently attended the Farmingdale Firehawks Football Luncheon at Carlyle On The Green in Farmingdale. The Farmingdale Hawks players ages 5 to 13, along with their coaches, parents and team moms all attended the luncheon to show their support and receive annual awards. Pictured behind the players from left to right are Board Members Bob McCormic and Tim Greco, Village Trustee Patricia A. Christainsen, Village Trustee Cheryl Parisi, Nassau County Legislator Michael Venditto, President Bob Dentato, Councilman Macagnone, Vice President Regina Mott, and Board Members Mike Ippolitti, Andrew Frigerio, and Steve Licata.
— Submitted by The Town of Oyster Bay