SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

December 14, 2013

Salem store owner admits fraud

Man found giving cash to EBT food stamp card users

(Continued)

“I didn’t know it was a crime,” Limat said.

His attorney, Geoffrey Nathan, is urging Whitehead to impose probation for his client, a suggestion that has already been rejected by two other judges.

To bolster his case, Nathan called Limat’s wife, who had come to court with their teenage autistic son and their pastor, to testify. She told Whitehead that she has no idea who will care for their children if Limat goes to prison, since she works full time.

Under questioning by Nathan, she said the couple is behind on their mortgage, which has a balance of $17,000, on the Lynn home they purchased in 2005.

Under questioning by the prosecutor, however, she also revealed that the couple owns a BMW.

The pastor of Limat’s church also took the stand to support Limat’s bid for probation, telling the judge that Limat is a Sunday School teacher who tithes (a religious practice of giving 10 percent of one’s income to the church).

But he was forced to acknowledge that Limat typically gives the church $25,000 a year as a tithe, and that over the past decade he had donated $250,000.

After hearing from the witnesses, Whitehead said he wants more information about Limat and his finances before deciding what sentence to impose.

A further hearing is scheduled for Dec. 23.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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