BREAKING NEWS Body of missing man located in Canadarago Lake Full Story

NY Attorney General: 3 convicted in local check-kiting scheme

Three men have been convicted for their roles in a check-kiting scheme that spanned across Oneida, Onondaga and Schenectady counties, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced today.

Posted: Dec 5, 2017 4:28 PM
Updated: Dec 5, 2017 4:30 PM

Three men have been convicted for their roles in a check-kiting scheme that spanned across Oneida, Onondaga and Schenectady counties, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced today.

According to a news release sent out by Shneiderman, a joint investigation by his office and New York State Police found that ringleaders Kevin Singleton-Lee (AKA Kev Escobar) and Jerome Simpson, with the help of Daniel Green, issued more than $175,000 in fraudulent checks. They also used social media to recruit financially vulnerable people to cash the fake checks using their personal accounts, and the three men then emptied those accounts of all their assets, according to Schneiderman.

Schneiderman says that between December 2015 and August 2017, Singleton-Lee, Simpson and Green targeted more than a dozen branches of small, local or regional credit unions and banks throughout central New York and the Capital Region, and also recruited more than 50 account holders to assist them in their scheme. During that time, the three men presented cash and more than 100 fraudulent checks that totaled more than $175,000.

Schneiderman says Singleton-Lee and Simpson began by creating bank accounts in the name of businesses, oftentimes fake ones, such as “Jones Maintenance” and “Watkins Homecare.” Then the three mean used social media such as Facebook to target college students and other young, single parents and adults to recruit them to cash the forged checks or deposit them in their personal accounts. The people who were targeted were promised a portion of the check as payment.

After the checks were deposited and funds became available, Schneiderman says the men would drain the accounts before the checks were returned and financial institutions discovered they weren’t worth anything. Schneiderman says the men even sometimes assumed the identities of the account holders without their consent and then accessed their accounts and took money out of ATMs.

Singleton-Lee was charged in both Onondaga and Oneida counties. In Onondaga County on Nov. 4 he pleaded guilty to two counts of felony third-degree grand larceny and felony first-degree identity theft. He was sentenced Nov. 17 to serve 4 and 2/3 to 14 years in state prison. He was also ordered to pay $100,000.

Today in Oneida County Court, Singleton-Lee pleaded guilty to felony first-degree scheme to defraud. He’ll be sentenced Fe. 6, 2018 to 1 and 1/3 to 4 years in state prison, which will run consecutive to his prison sentence in Onondaga County. Combined, he’ll serve 6 to 18 years in prison. Singleton-Lee was also ordered today to pay $26,874.27.

Simpson was previously convicted of felony third-degree grand larceny in Schenectady County Court, and on Nov. 20 he was sentenced to 1 and 1/3 to 4 years in state prison. He was also ordered to repay $47,880.64.

Green was previously convicted of felony third-degree grand larceny in Onondaga County Court and on Oct. 3, he was sentenced to time served and four years of probation. He was also ordered to repay $9,900.

"We have zero tolerance for those who exploit financially vulnerable New Yorkers for their personal gain," Shneiderman said in the news release. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to bring fraudsters to justice and protect consumers from falling victim to these scams."

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2147318

Reported Deaths: 53632
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings28739010516
Queens28217910018
Suffolk2040833412
Nassau1870513184
Bronx1865306597
New York1427444530
Westchester1313192296
Erie905981814
Richmond770911855
Monroe698961117
Orange48988847
Rockland47345758
Onondaga39473680
Dutchess29847447
Albany25027358
Oneida22813518
Niagara20243375
Broome18789367
Saratoga15729168
Ulster14111258
Schenectady13361206
Rensselaer11422145
Putnam1073793
Chautauqua9008146
Chemung7840137
Oswego770493
Ontario750893
Steuben7013147
Sullivan676976
St. Lawrence675097
Cayuga642092
Jefferson625568
Wayne584873
Cattaraugus578193
Genesee5456124
Herkimer5255110
Clinton487833
Madison460689
Livingston455760
Fulton446193
Tompkins444152
Montgomery4291128
Columbia4130104
Cortland396864
Tioga387163
Warren376162
Wyoming362253
Allegany357987
Chenango355377
Otsego349747
Greene346879
Washington320355
Orleans314383
Lewis283736
Franklin257512
Delaware243139
Seneca203357
Schoharie173319
Essex162926
Yates118226
Schuyler109014
Hamilton3182
Unassigned8811
Out of NY0253
Utica
Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 60°
Oneonta
Mostly Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 58°
Herkimer
Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 60°
Old Forge
Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 60°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather

Alivana Wellness Infusion Giveaway
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
18 Facets of Summer Photo Contest brought to you by Herkimer Diamond Mines
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve