A man accused of ripping off local family-owned businesses is headed to trial.
All charges against Steven Makoroff were waived during a preliminary hearing in Elizabeth Township on Wednesday.
Makoroff, owner of the Wheel Deliver delivery service, faces felony charges of theft and receiving stolen property.
His public defender asked for a bond reduction, but Judge Beth Mills denied the request because of the number of charges and waived them to criminal court.
According to investigators, he operated a delivery service for several restaurants and allegedly stole thousands of dollars from them.
Elizabeth Township Police arrested Makoroff after a McKeesport recycling center reported seven business checks totaling more than $45,000 were stolen and used to make counterfeit checks that were later deposited on behalf of Wheel Deliver.
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Investigators found other businesses that questioned their dealings with Makoroff as well.
“We had gotten a lot of large orders from them the last month and then there was no one there. So he just disappeared,” said James Wittfeldt, who manages Chicken Latino in the Strip District.
His restaurant was allegedly ripped off by Makoroff and his food delivery service. Now out thousands of dollars, they're just hoping he'll stay behind bars.
“He's going to hurt small business owners,” said the owner of Chicken Latino, who did not want to be identified. “Like me, like many of my friends, who are immigrants and we came here to work very hard and that is a full amount of our rent, you know? If he's doing it again... it's just going to tremendously hurt us."
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