Former McMenamy’s owner gets probation

WARREN — The owner of a former banquet facility in Niles received two years’ probation Sept. 18 on a misdemeanor conviction of attempted workers’ compensation fraud.

Robert Leonard, 68, of Cynthia Court, Niles, appeared before Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge Peter J. Kontos, who also suspended a 180-day jail sentence, which he said will be enforced if Leonard doesn’t fulfill the orders of his probation. Leonard also was ordered to pay court costs.

Leonard pleaded guilty in July to a bill of information listing a fourth-degree felony charge against McMenamy’s Inc., and a first-degree misdemeanor against himself as top officer of the corporation.

According to Trumbull County Assistant Prosecutor Charles Morrow, the charges deal with the business failing to pay Workers’ Compensation premiums totaling $13,024 between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2015. The case was investigated by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

Melissa Vince, public relations manager the bureau, said McMenamy’s was identified through an Ohio Division of Liquor Control cross-match that showed the business had a liquor license and no coverage with the bureau.

“The (BWC) compliance department was unsuccessful in getting them to obtain workers’ comp coverage, and they were then referred to the Special Investigations Department for further investigation,” Vince said.

Leonard’s attorney, Matt Blair, said the $13,000 restitution has been paid by his client.

Earlier this year, McMenamy’s closed its banquet facility on Youngstown Warren Road. McMenamy’s restaurant and bar, which operated at the same 325 Youngstown Warren Road location for 15 years, closed in 2014. Blair said McMenamy’s no longer owns the property, which is now a flea and produce market.