By Kalea Hall
The owners of a hot dog shop in Austintown would like the public to know that they are not responsible for passing numerous bad checks to employees.
Stephen Adams, 41, of Youngstown, was charged with 10 counts of theft by deception for passing bad checks while he was the presiding owner of the former Coney Island Pub and Grill.
David and Marianne Markota, the former owners before the business passed on to Adams, now are in control of the business and have been since Dec. 14, 2013, after they evicted him. The business has be renamed Coney Island Hot Dogs, 31 N. Canfield-Niles Road.
The Markotas owned the business since 2009 and decided to have Adams take over last summer, Marianne Markota said. Adams had to pay the Markotas for the rent of the building and the business itself. Last fall, a check for $2,500 to the Markotas bounced, and they questioned Adams.
“He said he didn’t understand why the check would bounce,” Marianne said.
Two vendors supplying food to the restaurant also came forward and pressed charges on Adams for bounced checks.
Seven employees also came to police about bounced payroll checks given to them by Adams.
Altogether, about $7,403 in checks bounced, according to the police reports.
Adams would not comment on the charges.
All of the charges filed against Adams are considered first-degree misdemeanors.
He pleaded not guilty to three of the charges and has a pretrial hearing at 1 p.m. March 31.
He has an arraignment for the other charges at 6 p.m. Feb. 10.