Menlo Park: Another sentencing delay for E. Gary Smith of Menalto Cleaners


The long-awaited sentencing of Edwin Gary Smith has been postponed, again, until 9 a.m. Friday, Jan. 13.

This will likely be the last postponement allowed for the sentencing, according to a report by District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. The sentencing was originally set for Oct. 4.

E. Gary Smith. (Photo by Michelle Le)
Mr. Smith operated Menalto Cleaners at 1921 Menalto Ave. in Menlo Park, and on July 8 pleaded no contest to seven counts of felony identity theft and one felony count for fraudulently using an "access card" for grand theft.

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.

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.

Mr. Smith is out of custody on $350,000 bail.

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2 people like this
Posted by Srini
a resident of another community
on Dec 3, 2016 at 7:39 am

Not sure why he is out on bail. He has been convicted, there is no appeal, and it is just a sentencing formality. There is no logical reason for him to be out there, freely going about his life, possibly even planning to bolt town, if not the country. He could be getting credit for time served.

4 people like this
Posted by Explanation
a resident of another community
on Dec 3, 2016 at 10:13 am

Unless the offender is violent or otherwise especially heinous, the normal practice in our criminal justice system is to allow some time to get one's affairs in orders before showing up to serve a jail sentence. If you're a victim, you don't like the practice. But, it's probably the right thing to do most times. It's the judge's discretion. I once heard of a judge taking a newly convicted woman directly into custody upon the jury's verdict who had falsely accused a man of raping her, so it doesn't necessarily have to be violence, but it usually financial crimes are given this leeway.

7 people like this
Posted by Clunge
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Dec 3, 2016 at 6:08 pm

Fraud can be heinous. He ruined people's credit. Stole their trust--- if there were any seniors involved there should be an added charge for elder abuse. The business neighbors there were hurt because people tend to believe small strip mall businesses are close. Lock him up already!!

Like this comment
Posted by Michael
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 21, 2017 at 12:59 pm

Any update on this?

Like this comment
Posted by Kate Bradshaw - Almanac Reporter
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 21, 2017 at 1:04 pm

Kate Bradshaw - Almanac Reporter is a registered user.

Hi Michael,
Yes, we wrote a follow-up story about this last week: Web Link. The sentencing hearing has now been postponed until Friday, March 17.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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