LOCKPORT – A Broome County woman was arraigned Tuesday in State Supreme Court, one of five defendants in a bogus check and fraudulent credit card ring that allegedly stole more than $60,000.
The other defendants are from Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Lockport.
Assistant District Attorney Brian D. Seaman said one woman already has pleaded guilty and the others are named in a multiple-count indictment that accuses them of passing fake checks and fraudulently using credit cards between April and July 2012.
Two defendants are accused of using a stolen credit card. All five were allegedly involved in depositing forged checks in bank accounts and withdrawing the money.
In a previous court appearance, Seaman said the forged checks were printed using information on a check stolen from the mailbox of a Town of Niagara man.
He said the credit card was obtained through the mail by using personal information left behind by a former resident of one of the defendants’ homes.
Pleading not guilty Tuesday was Krystal H. Pesoncko, 21, of Johnson City. She is charged with 12 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, 12 counts of identity theft, four counts of grand larceny and two counts of scheming to defraud.
Scheduled for arraignment today is Akeyta M. Fambo, 29, of West Avenue, Buffalo, who is charged with seven forged instrument counts, six identity theft counts, and two counts each of grand larceny and scheming to defraud.
Previously arraigned were Tasheen N. Dillard, 32, of Cedar Avenue, Niagara Falls, and Demetrius M. Davis, 33, of 16th Street, Niagara Falls.
Dillard faces 35 forged instrument counts, 22 identity theft counts, 10 grand larceny counts and two counts of scheming to defraud.
Davis is named in 17 forged instrument counts, 11 identity theft counts, five grand larceny counts and two scheming to defraud counts.
Shana L. Wallace, 21, of Hawley Street, Lockport, pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, and is scheduled for sentencing by Kloch on Feb. 27.
Seaman said Dillard and Davis are the only defendants accused of using the credit card.
All five were allegedly involved in depositing forged checks in bank accounts and withdrawing the money. The prosecutor said about $40,000 was stolen in the check scams and about $20,000 through use of the credit card, although with banks reversing charges as quickly as they could, it’s unclear how much money actually made it into the pockets of the defendants.
Pesoncko is in Broome County Jail for violating probation on a conviction for similar conduct there, Seaman said. Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. set $20,000 bail on her Niagara County charges.