"Crazy" Bernie Siomiak holds up his $5,000 administrative citation in a photo posted to his Facebook page last year.
Written by The Business Journal Staff
A popular — and controversial — Fresno businessman and personality is being charged with fraud.
The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office has filed five felony counts against Bernard Siomiak, locally known as Crazy Bernie of Crazy Bernie Furniture, and Tammy Vestal of Fresno, alleging MediCal Fraud.
Siomiak and Vestal are accused of committing fraud over the course of several years by falsely underreporting their earnings on documents submitted to MediCal and Covered California, signed under penalty of perjury.
Vestal is listed as vice president of Crazy Bernie Furniture Store according to a Better Business Bureau listing.
Due to these misrepresentations, Siomiak and Vestal received more than $23,000 in publicly funded benefits, according to the DA. An investigation determined that Siomiak was not entitled to any of these benefits, according to a news release from the DA office.
Both have been charged with one count of felony theft, one count of perjury, one count of making a false statement to obtain aid, one count of making a false declaration to obtain aid, and one count of filing a fraudulent claim.
If convicted of all charges, Siomiak and Vestal both face a maximum sentence of four years and eight months in state prison.
An email seeking comment from Siomiak has not been returned.
A year ago Siomiak received a $5,000 citation from the city for operating as a non-essential business during lockdown restrictions for Covid. He was in the process of liquidating and closing his stores.