August 21, 2014

Elyria
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Elyria cake shop owner indicted

Kitty Meszes

Kitty Meszes

ELYRIA — Kitty Meszes has been indicted in connection with an investigation into food stamp fraud at Cakes, Candy and Flowers, the Elyria business she runs.

Meszes, 52, is charged with trafficking in drugs, theft and two counts of conspiracy, the same charges her company already was facing when the indictment against her was unsealed Tuesday.

Meszes, the daughter of former Lorain County Commissioner Mary Jo Vasi, was booked into and released Tuesday from the Lorain County Jail. A worker who answered the phone at Cakes, Candy and Flowers said it was unlikely Meszes would comment on the allegations against her.

She has previously denied being involved with food stamp fraud.

Also facing charges in connection with the investigation are Thaer Mustafa and the now-shuttered Shopway Food Mart. A second business run by Mustafa, IMT Wireless and More, is accused of involvement with drugs, gambling and counterfeit clothing.

According to court documents filed by city attorneys last year as part of their successful effort to close down Shopway as a nuisance, Meszes was personally involved in food stamp fraud.

An informant who went to Shopway as part of an investigation by Elyria police and the Ohio Department of Public Safety last year was sent to Cake, Candy and Flowers after inquiring about using a food stamp card to buy drugs and a cell phone.

The informant went to Cakes, Candy and Flowers and Meszes allegedly ran his or her food stamp card, also known as an EBT card, and gave the informant a receipt, according to court documents. The informant then returned to Shopway and was given a cell phone and told to return the next day to pick up the synthetic marijuana he or she wanted to buy.

When the informant went back to Cakes, Candy and Flowers to get more money off his or her EBT card to spend at Shopway, an employee working at Meszes’ store refused to run the card, according to court documents.

But Meszes came out of the back room and ran the card and provided a receipt, which the informant took back to Shopway, according to the court filings.

Mustafa and another Shopway employee were arrested during an April 2013 raid that also included a search of Cakes, Candy and Flowers, but no one from Meszes’ company had been formally charged until now.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @BradDickenCT.

  • oldruss

    The article, unintentionally perhaps, hit the nail on the head, when it stated, “Meszes, the daughter of former Lorain County Commissioner Mary Jo Vasi . . . .”

    Remember this from a 2007 Chronicle-Telegram story? “One local example: Jack Vasi, son of former County Commissioner Mary Jo Vasi, and his sister, Mary Kay Szabo, operated a tire dump in Carlisle Township that the state paid to clean up. Vasi and Szabo are still on probation for their inaction.” http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2007/07/09/state-to-recoup-cost-of-tire-dump-cleanups/

    This kind of “stuff” seems to run in the family.

    • luvmytoaster

      Wow, you’re right – I remember that!

  • Cletus

    Dirty rotten scoundrels

  • golfingirl

    They left the county/state to clean up their mess with the tires.

    They stole from the State with this crime.

    The list is quite long, and growing!

    I would like to see exactly how much this family has cost the taxpayers with their actions. Court costs, clean ups, incarcerations, probations.

    They spend more time in court than Judge Burge!

    I suggest they sell everything they own to pay us all back!

    • saltydog77

      Charge them with a pattern of corrupt activities under the RICO Act and look into mommy dearest concerning the Lorain County Transportation Center.

  • Arietta Sullivan

    rotten shame people ruins their own livelihood with having their own personal business and then getting greedy and breaking the law.i’m,constantly,hearing&reading so many of the working class cutting down on welfare recipients(all that receives it,does not commit fraud) but here AGAIN the tables has turned. the working class can,also, abuse the government system. it’s all in a character of how we choose what is right&what is wrong. you get too greedy for money,stuff like this can happen.

    • Scout

      Arietta you hit the nail on the head when you said ‘character’. That is what it boils down to and it’s sad when people don’t follow their conscience.

  • saltydog77

    Mary Jo Vasi, former Lorain County Commisioner. What a sad family.

  • golfingirl

    So quick to rush to judgement.

    She was using the food stamps to pay for a cake she made for the informant.

    She was running a special….. “Buy a cake, get a free cell-phone and drugs.”

    The food stamps were actually used for the cake, not the other items. The other items were free, through her unadvertised special.

    I probably just gave the defense their alibi.

    Judge Burge would believe it and let her off.

  • DonMega

    Is that aunt B.

  • grannyof6

    The “Apple” doesn’t fall from the tree does it!!!

  • Scout

    I applaud the clerk of the store that refused to run the card. At least that person knows right from wrong.

  • Tim O’Donnell

    What happened to innocent until proven guilty. I cant believe Kitty did this but hope the best for her and her family.