David IgnallDavidovich BakeryDennis MasonJoe SmithJudge Gerald PappertMarc FintzMarc ZirogiannisNY BAGEL CAFENY Bagel ScamNYC BAGEL SCAM

Federal Judge Gerald Pappert REQUIRES Convicted Franchise Scammer to Sell Franchises as Condition of Bail

In July, 2020, Federal District Judge Gerald “Jerry” Pappert signed a bail order that appears to require convicted franchise opportunity scammer Dennis Mason to maintain his current employment (selling franchises opportunities) as a condition of bail.  In addition to decades of state enforcement actions and lawsuits for franchise fraud, Dennis Mason pled guilty to defrauding as many as 160 franchise investors. by Sean Kelly

(UnhappyFranchisee.ComNOTE:  We have requested clarification and/or comment from the Department of Justice & Judge Pappert’s Chambers and will post their response if/when received.

If the prosecution of known franchise scammers Joseph Smith and Dennis Mason were a movie – even a dark comedy – I would want my money back.

Judge Gerald PappertThe writers of this bad, sad comedy have “jumped the shark,” that is, created a scenario so implausible as to defy rational belief.

Well, I’m sorry to say, friends and neighbors, that truth once again has exceeded the zaniest fiction:

Gerald “Jerry Pappert, who was nominated to serve as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by Barack Obama in 2014, is presiding over the trials of convicted franchise scammers Joseph Smith and Dennis Mason.

In what’s called the NY Bagel Franchise Scam, the two ran deceptive ads on Craig’s List and other sites promising turnkey, fully financed bagel shop franchises for flat franchise fees of $24,000 to $49,000.  The two used deceptive claims and false documents to lure some of their 160 victims into losses in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Victims included a widowed military veteran with two small children, retirees who needed to supplement their fixed income, and a man who is legally blind.  The scam resulted in home foreclosures, bankruptcies, shattered marriages and at least one defaulted SBA loan paid by the taxpayers.

Dennis Mason sold the bogus franchise opportunities using a number of aliases (Brian Scofield, Keith Samuels, David Malin) to hide decades of state enforcement orders and civil lawsuits for franchise fraud.

Years of Complaints & Reporting Finally Prompted Federal Charges Against Mason

Victim complaints and interviews shared with and reported by the UnhappyFranchisee watchdog site exposed the massive NY Bagel Franchise Scam. (See  NY Bagel Franchise Scam Links & Complaint Timeline)

As the number of victims and evidence grew in volume, publisher Sean Kelly created the dedicated website NYBagelScam.Com.

On 6/25/20, Dennis K. Mason of Frenchtown, NJ was charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy.

On 7/30/20, Judge Pappert signed a Conditions of Release Order (073020 Dennis Mason Bail Conditions) for Dennis Mason.

It not only didn’t forbid Dennis Mason from selling franchises, it specifically required him to continue to sell franchises.

Even, it seems, NY Bagel Cafe, NYC Bagel & Sandwich Shop and Davidovich NYC Bagel franchises.

Dennis Mason Convicted

Serial Franchise Scammer Dennis Mason ALLOWED – even REQUIRED (?) to Sell Franchise Opportunities While on Bail

Dennis Mason Conditions of Release Order issued by Judge Pappert states:

Defendant must maintain present employment.

Acknowledging that Dennis Mason’s “present employment” is selling fraudulent and illegal NY Bagel scam franchises, a typed addition in the margin reads:

The defendant must provide Pretrial Services with the identity of franchisee who pay a fee to him or his employer.

Dennis Mason Has Franchise Lawsuits Going Back to 1997, Three State Enforcement Orders & Two Guilty Please for Franchise Fraud

Since 2012, UnhappyFranchisee has issued public warnings about the man Judge Jerry Pappert has required to continue selling franchises for the past two years.

In 2012, we posted complaints we received and invited more here:  DENNIS MASON Franchise Complaints

In 2015, we posted Joe Smith, Dennis Mason & NY Bagel Café Franchise Exposed: 10 Things You Should Know.  That post documents the NY Bagel franchise scheme and lists the lawsuits against Dennis Mason & Joe Smith.
In 2016, we exposed Dennis Mason lawsuits, enforcement orders and fraud allegations going back to 1997: DENNIS MASON Franchise Lawsuits, Controversies, Aliases & Warning.

Dennis Mason franchise litigationDennis Mason was sued for deceptive franchise sales practices for numerous companies, including Motorwerks, Petrucci’s, Amazon Cafe, Java’s Brewin’, Mike Schmidt’s Hoagies, and more.

He’s been hit with state enforcement orders for franchise violations by Maryland ( Davidovich NYC Bagel Maryland Final Order) Virginia  (Virginia v. NY Bagel Cafe, Joe Smith, Dennis Mason – Order to Show Cause) and Washington (NY Bagel WA Franchise Order)    .

Dennis Mason’s Sentencing Hearing is Scheduled for Wednesday, April 13, 10:00 am, Honorable Judge Gerald Pappert Presiding

Dennis Mason’s plea deal is sealed and not publicly available on PACER.

His sentencing hearings have been rescheduled multiple times without public notice, making attendance impractical.

Here is the current Notice of Hearing as of this publication:   Dennis Mason – Notice of Hearing

We’ve posted the latest on Joseph Smith’s prosecution here:  NY Bagel Scammer Joe Smith to Get LESS Than Five Years for Massive Franchise Fraud


Press inquiries will be quickly answered.

TAGS:  NY Bagel Scam, Bagel Franchise Scam, NYC Bagel franchise, Joe Smith scam, Dennis Mason Franchise scam, Joseph Smith Newburgh NY, Bagel scam Trial, US Attorney David Ignall, US Attorney Eric Powers, Judge Gerald Pappert, Judge Jerry Pappert

5 thoughts on “Federal Judge Gerald Pappert REQUIRES Convicted Franchise Scammer to Sell Franchises as Condition of Bail

  • Just a moment. You’ve described a travesty of supposed “justice” that is beyond believable in not nearly enough words. This maggot should have an ankle bracelet on and not be permitted to leave his home.
    The only possible explanation for this is that Judge Gerald Pappert has something serious in mind come the sentencing on April 13th. If not, States MUST contest this ruling and directly attribute its elements to malfeasance by Pappert and his immediate removal from the bench.

    Unless the Judge pulls a rabbit out from under his robe, he is as inept and as disgraceful as any judge could be. There is nothing “honorable” about a judge who can’t see justice when smacked directly in the face with the criminal behavior of this fraudulent weasel who has been scamming for decades.

  • Kim:
    I don’t know what he could pull out. The Max is 5 years for Joe Smith and it could be a lot less.
    I thought proceedings were supposed to be public, but we can’t even see Mason’s deal.
    I think this tells scammers and fraudsters that Franchising Wants You!
    Welcome to the All You Can Scam Buffett at Franchiseville.

  • Well, this is unbelievable. I had to laugh — not because this is funny (and it’s certainly not to all those who’ve been conned by Smith & Mason) — but at the sheer leniency of this judgement.
    It seems that all the actual facts have been ignored or deemed “misdemeanors”. The fact the Mason has used aliases to fraudulently hide his identity as he’s hopped from scam to scam; the fact that for each scam he’s understated startup costs, overstated the number of successful franchises and exaggerated the financial success of existing franchises; the fact that they’ve continued their crimes despite state enforcement orders and civil suits; the fact that he’s continued this activity for years. Despite these facts, and supporting documentation provided by lawyers who’ve acted on behalf of ex-NYB franchisors, Mason has been given license to continue his activities. I notice that the Judge didn’t specify what name Mason should use…….
    As for Smith, he’s a bully who happily worked along side Mason in this scam and who turned to intimidation and threats as soon as someone had the temerity to question the lies that they had been fed — as well you know, unfortunately.
    As soon as they had the money and their victims’ businesses began to fail, they simply walked away to the next victim.
    Given the number of victims and the amount of monies involved, why were we never allowed to know what was happening with regard to the legal process? And why has Mason’s pleas deal being kept secret?
    If it wasn’t for your efforts, none of their victims would know what was happening, nor would these two have ever faced justice, although it appears in this instance that justice has decided that scamming people out of thousands of dollars isn’t that serious. Other that providing supporting evidence at the very beginning of this process, I personally have never heard any updates other than from you.

    All their victims should have been given the opportunity to be heard. The plea deal should be unsealed and and the ridiculously lenient deals for Smith and Mason should be rejected.

  • Hank Heller

    Dear Mr. Kelly,
    Please continue to expose the bad apples in franchising. Many times, inexperienced potential franchisees get abused by dishonest and intimidating sellers of franchise “opportunities”. It is only through efforts like yours, to expose the bad actors, that decent people who are eager for an opportunity to be their own bosses can be saved from terrible mistakes. So, thank you for the service you provide to the good franchisors and the good people wanting to begin a new life.
    I cannot understand the decision making by Judge Pappert. Perhaps you can explain how he came to his conclusion regarding the law and Mr. Mason and Mr. Smith. That would be very interesting reading.
    A long time franchisee

  • I’m going to be writing a small, succinct, and direct note in the hope that we can obtain some level of understanding. I expect perhaps a template response or even nothing but I will have tried. Perhaps you can try as well.

    Gerald J. Pappert, Judge

    11614 U.S. Courthouse
    601 Market Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19106


    Jeffrey Lucini, Courtroom Deputy/Criminal
    (267)(267) 299-7537

    Katie Rolon, Courtroom Deputy/Civil
    (267)(267) 299-7531

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *