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Escalon Connection Suspects Arrested In Milk Fraud
Stanislaus County Sheriff's Detectives have arrested two suspects and two suspects have turned themselves over to authorities in a milk fraud case that involved Foster Farms Dairy in the City of Modesto and two dairies located on the outskirts of Oakdale. Detectives arrested Jose Teixeira Sr., 47, of Stevenson and Elmiro (Tony) Belo, 59, of Escalon on Thursday Jan. 8.

The following day, Maria (Mary) Silveira, 61, and Bernadette Silveira, 43, both of Escalon turned themselves into the court and were later released on bail. The mother/daughter duo had been wanted by detectives for grand theft in the milk fraud case.

Detectives began investigating the case in early December 2007 when they received a call from Foster Farms Dairy reporting that a truck driver was committing fraud against the company. As detectives began investigating the truck driver, Teixeira, they uncovered that he was working with two other dairies to fraud money from Foster Farms Dairy. Teixeira's job was to deliver milk to the Foster Farms Dairy Creamery in Modesto from dairies throughout the valley. While unloading the milk at the Foster Farms Dairy Creamery, Teixeira would leave a couple thousand gallons of milk in his tank, when he should have been unloading the entire tank. He would then leave and refill his tank at one of the two dairies. When he returned to the creamery, he reported he had a full load of new milk and the dairy would be paid for the couple thousand gallons that were already in the tank. Detectives believe Teixeira had been conducting this type of fraud since December 2005. Since 2005, Foster Farms Dairy is estimating a loss of approximately $4 million.

Detectives believe Teixeira was working with Silveira Dairy in the 9400 block of Alvarado Road and Belo Dairy in the 11100 block of Cleveland Avenue, both in Oakdale. Belo was arrested for his involvement in the fraud as the owner of Belo Dairy. Both Teixeira and Belo were arrested and booked into the Stanislaus County Jail for grand theft.

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact Detective Mike Myers at 869-7162. Callers can also leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at 521-4636 and be eligible for a cash reward.