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Apr 9, 2012 4:07 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Bob Stevens Faces Felony Charges Of Stealing From Appliance Store Employees In Westhampton

Apr 11, 2012 11:31 AM

The former owner of an appliance store that served as a staple of the Westhampton area business community for decades until its bankruptcy and closure in 2010 will be arraigned next week on two felony charges stemming from complaints that he stole money from one or more employees’ retirement accounts.

Robert L. Stevens, 68, of Sarasota, Florida, is accused of bilking money from his employees at Bob Stevens Appliance, according to Southampton Town Justice Court officials.

Records show that as the sole trustee of Bob Stevens Appliance’s 401k plan, Mr. Stevens is accused of withholding 401k money having a value of more than $1,000 from an employee’s paychecks from October 2008 to May 1, 2010, according to Robert Clifford, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota’s office.

Mr. Stevens was charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree and scheme to defraud in the first degree. The grand larceny charge refers to one employee, Mr. Clifford said. Town Justice Court officials said at least two employees have filed complaints with police.

The former business owner will be arraigned on Wednesday, April 18, at 9 a.m. in Southampton Town Justice Court in Hampton Bays, as the town jurisdiction is where his crimes allegedly took place. Court officials said he will fly to New York to face the charges. He was arrested on March 15 in the Sunshine State, they said. The investigation is ongoing.

Mr. Stevens’s attorney, James Pascarella, did not return calls for comment this week. A woman who answered the phone at Mr. Stevens’s Florida residence hung up on a reporter.

Bankruptcy proceedings forced Bob Stevens Appliance to close its doors in May 2010. The store was located at Francis S. Gabreski Airport until it moved to a warehouse across the street on Old Riverhead Road earlier that year.

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I had purchased a G.E. washer a year year before Bob Stevens closed up. I paid for an extended warrrenty, whe I called to put in a claim, I was told that there was no record of me buying an extended warrenty, luckely I had the reciept saying I did pay for it through Bob Stevens. guess they charged me then put my money in their pocket. wonder how many other people they did this to!!
By Patty P (3), Sag Harbor on Apr 9, 12 4:21 PM
i have the same situation with my daughters oven .what was the name of the warranty co. and any contact info that you may have .
By NEWLONDON (48), westhampton beach on Jan 1, 13 12:21 PM
Did you ever find the extended warrenty company for Bob Stevens purchases. I also have a warrenty on washing machine that needs repair.
By ada (2), Sag Harbor on Sep 6, 13 12:27 PM
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Apr 9, 12 4:38 PM
1 member liked this comment
I received a free jar (with a sprinkler top) of his BBQ spices, supposedly Bob's own recipe. Do you think that it could not been a secret family recipe, but something with a Bob's label pasted on it? I'm devastated!
By MattS (7), E H on Apr 9, 12 7:57 PM
My husband did sub-contract work for Mr Stevens for a good many years and I personally don't know of a more upstanding citizen or honest gentleman than Mr. Stevens!
By R Topping (6), Hudson Falls on Apr 9, 12 8:37 PM
1 member liked this comment
oh brother! no shocker here!
By Adnil (1), westhampton beach on Apr 9, 12 10:10 PM
What a travesty to see this man dragged through the mud like this. I known Bob all my life, knew his father, mother family. They are the best people on earth.Something funny going on in our justice system. Everyone wants to kill the mocking bird.

By Tufeather (2), East Nassau on Apr 9, 12 11:58 PM
Unfortunately people have private lives and while we may know them, we don't necessarily know everything about them. Felony charges weren't brought at the drop of a hat. Clearly there is something that appears wrong.

I do hope that it is a mistake, misunderstanding etc. But no one knows exactly what another person does.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Apr 12, 12 9:21 AM
3 members liked this comment
so much for the past WHB grand marshal . i guess he wasn't rich enough..
By ranger (54), springs on Apr 10, 12 1:55 AM
I hate stories like this, a really nice man, from a really nice family, and now here comes the skeletons.
By bchgrl83 (52), Westhampton Beach on Apr 10, 12 6:09 AM
3 members liked this comment
Bernie Madoff was a nice man too!! :)
By Jaws (245), Westhampton on Apr 15, 12 1:41 AM
1 member liked this comment
By bchgrl83 (52), Westhampton Beach on Apr 15, 12 6:59 AM
1 member liked this comment
the huge mistake humans make is this: when trouble heads your way...and there are only two choices to make...chose the right one. God will provide.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Apr 10, 12 6:41 AM
1 member liked this comment
At least we know he treated his employees like he treated his customers.
By patrickstar (67), hampton bays on Apr 10, 12 2:10 PM
Bob was always a gentlemen and he provided terrific service.
I hope the allegations prove false. This is a sad chapter in an otherwise
really nice story.
By Steven (113), Westhampton on Apr 10, 12 3:36 PM
1 member liked this comment
I would hope it is a small number and a misunderstanding but if he was not depositing 401K money that was to be paid directly into a retirement account he is in deep doo doo. Only Ron Perelman can loot retirement accounts and get away with it. I also hope the writers know the difference b/w a 401k and a pension contribution...
By Hambone (514), New York on Apr 11, 12 11:03 AM
I don't know this person, but that's only $12.82 per week. Hardly seems like a crime worth committing for someone in his position, sounds more like bad bookkeeping. You can't exactly fly off to another country to hide your stolen fortune with that kind of money.
By Old School (22), Southampton on Apr 13, 12 12:00 PM
Just because a person is accused of a crime does not mean they have committed one. The big problem in our country today is when a person is accused of crime we want to convict them because we do not like them, we believe the Police must be right, or for some other reason that has no bearing on the truth. By the way research shows that the Police lie on the witness stand 73% of the time, which is not a very good record to hang your hat on when it comes to a person’s guilt or incidences.
By RAW (1), Southampton on Apr 16, 12 12:40 PM
> research shows that the Police lie on the witness stand 73% of the time

Citation, please.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Apr 16, 12 2:40 PM
Except of course they haven't been on the witness stand yet. Why waste time on something that didn't happen and they are just pretending happened? I agree, give the man a trial and find out what happened. I doubt the police just decided to go after Bob just go keep themselves busy.

Hopefully, this is a mistake and it will all go away. One way or the other, it is a sad story.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Apr 17, 12 3:23 PM
Better slow down thru Flanders, Frank.
By Doug Penny (64), Lexington, Virginia on Apr 17, 12 5:55 PM
My daughter has a major problem with her oven which she purchased from Bob Stevens Westhampton Beach. She purchased an after market warranty at the time of purchase . We are trying to find the name and contact info for the after market warranty co.
By NEWLONDON (48), westhampton beach on Jan 1, 13 12:29 PM
Did you ever find the warranty company for the Bob Stevens company you purchased the oven from. I purchased a washing machine with 5 year warrenty and need a repair.

By ada (2), Sag Harbor on Sep 6, 13 12:26 PM