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Furniture Discounter ‘Crazy Bernie’ Faces Medical Fraud Charges



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The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office has filed five felony fraud counts against Bernard “Crazy Bernie” Siomiak, the self-proclaimed “Furniture King of the San Joaquin.”

Siomiak, 61, and Tammy Gail Vestal, 52, were booked into Fresno County Jail at about 8 a.m. Thursday. Bail of $35,000 was set for both.

Accused of Health Insurance Fraud

The Fresno residents are accused of committing a multi-year fraud involving the submission of false documents for MediCal and Covered California health insurance.

The DA’s Office alleges that Siomiak and Vestal knowingly underreported their incomes on their applications.

“As a result of these misrepresentations, Siomiak and Vestal obtained over $23,000 in publicly funded benefits,” the DA’s Office said in a news release. “After a thorough investigation, it was determined that Siomiak was not entitled to any of these benefits.”

If convicted of all charges, Siomiak and Vestal each face up to four years, eight months in state prison.

Siomiak is well known for his Crazy Bernie discount furniture store television commercials.

Siomiak didn’t respond to a GV Wire request for comment on the allegations.

Bernie Siomiak at City Hall protesting COVID-19 emergency measures last year. (GV Wire File)

Fought City Over COVID-19 Shutdowns

More recently, Siomiak waged a high-profile fight with the city over orders to close his store as part of the COVID-19 emergency mandates.

Initially hit with $6,000 fines in April of last year, Siomiak later told GV Wire that he settled the dispute for $1,000.

Though the Crazy Bernie store on West Shaw Avenue is closed, Siomiak continues to sell furniture online.

“After you buy I will call to set up a time to meet you to load up,” Siomiak says on his website.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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