Top 5 Sept. Stories: 2-Year Sentence in Fraud Case, $900k Forfeit for Pot Smuggler
A look at the most-read stories on Medford Patch last month.
Here are the top five stories, according to page views, on Medford Patch in September:
- Magic Factory Owner Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Credit Card Fraud: Harry Levy, the owner of Hank Lee's Magic Factory in Medford, was sentenced to two years in prison on Thursday for committing credit card fraud and misleading investigators, according to a court official. Levy, 61, of Lexington, pleaded guilty in April to making over $560,000 in fraudulent charges to one customer's credit card over a two year span starting in 2009, then lying about the charges to investigators, according to court filings. Judge Patti Saris handed down the sentence in a hearing Thursday morning at U.S. District in Boston. Levy's attorney unsuccessfully argued for him to avoid prison time and serve six months in a halfway house, six months house arrest and three years probation instead, according to court filings. His plea agreement also requires him to pay restitution to the victim.
- Transit Police Arrest Medford Man For Alleged Copper Wire Theft: A Medford man was taking a stiff-legged midnight stroll in Brookline Village, when he was stopped by MBTA and Brookline police last week. At around 2:15 a.m. last Friday, Transit Police responded to the Brookline Village T stop and arrested this "Midnight Walker," according the tpdnews blog. They say that Robert O'Neil, 43, of Medford was trying to leave the track area, and seemed "stiff-legged," likely due to the large set of bolt cutters tucked down his pants, along with a pair of work gloves.
- Minuteman Bus Cut Gets Parents Fuming: Parents of Medford students who attend Minuteman Regional High School accused Superintendent Roy Belson of exposing their children to bullying, and bullying, himself, during Monday's Medford School Committee meeting. Medford Public Schools used to provide a bus exculsively for transportation to and from Minuteman, but that stopped this year in a cost-cutting move. Since Minuteman's first day on Aug. 27, a bus takes students to Minuteman about 6:30 a.m., returns to Medford to run Elementary school pick-ups and drop-offs, and returns to Minuteman about 3:30 p.m. to bring students back to Medford. But that leaves students at the school with about an hour between school's end and the bus arriving. (Note: This issue was resolved, and a bus now arrives at the school at the end of the school day.)
- Judge: Medford Pot Smuggler Must Forfeit $900k: A Medford man has been ordered to forfeit nearly a million dollars as part of his plea agreement in a large scale marijuana smuggling conspiracy, according to court records. Huy Hoang Nguyen -- known to his accomplices as "Boston" -- struck a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in western New York in July, pleading guilty to a count of conspiracy to possess at least 100 kilograms of marijuana. While he's expected to receive a 5 or 6-year sentence, he's going to also pay a hefty cash penalty, according to court records. Federal Judge William M. Skretny issued an order Aug. 23, calling for Nguyen for forfeit $900,000 in a money judgement as part of the plea agreement.
- AG: Medford Man Collected $16k in Unemployment While Working: A Medford man more than doubled his income over a six month period by collecting unemployment checks while working, according to the Attorney General's office. Antoine Warren, 27, of Medford, is charged with 26 counts of unemployment fraud and a charge of larceny over $250, according to a press release from Attorney General Martha Coakley. Warren applied for and received between December 2008 and June 2009 even though he was employed full time, according to prosecutors. During that time, he allegedly collected about $16,000 through unemployment and earned about $15,000 from his job.