3 Salamaca brothers plead guilty to grand larceny
Murray Superette operators to pay $164K-plus in restitution
MURRAY Three brothers who operate the Murray Superette pleaded guilty in Orleans County to grand larceny in the fourth degree and could face a maximum of six months in Orleans County Jail.
Alexander, Myron and Olec Salamaca also agreed to pay restitution, which includes a $15,000 judgment to the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance and $149,102 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for abuses in the food stamp program.
The brothers were arrested on Oct. 27 following a 15-month investigation where the Salamacas and some employees allowed customers to illegally exchange food stamps in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) at 70 percent of their value, the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force said then.
The Salamacas would swipe electronic DBT cards and give customers cash back or allow them to buy alcohol, untaxed cigarettes, gas and other items unauthorized by the program, District Attorney Joe Cardone said in court today.
“Did you do it with the intent to steal from the U.S. government?” Judge James Punch asked Olec Salamaca.
“Yes,” Olec Salamaca responded.
Each of the brothers admitted to the grand larceny crimes today in Orleans County Court. None of them have prior criminal records. Cardone agreed to the plea deal after the brothers agreed to restitution. He also considered their community record in running a business on Route 104.
The charge of fourth-degree grand larceny normally carries a maximum of 4 years in state prison. If Judge James Punch sentences the Salamacas to more than 6 months in jail on June 20, the brothers can withdraw their pleas and go to trial.
Punch said the Salamacas may have to surrender licenses for some of their enterprises. The judge kept bail at $20,000, which each Salamaca posted in a lower court.
A fourth Salamaca brother also has been charged in the food stamp trafficking scheme. Taras R. Salamaca worked as an employee at the store. His case is in Murray Town Court.