A Town of Niagara man could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison for looting more than $130,000 from the bank accounts of his legally incompetent uncle.
Ian C. Howard, 51, of Belden Place, pleaded guilty Friday in County Court to third-degree grand larceny. Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza set sentencing for March 19.
Prosecutors said Howard is the legal guardian of his uncle, who is a nursing home patient in Niagara Falls. The thefts occurred between July 1997 and February 2000, court papers said.
Meanwhile, in Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr.'s courtroom, Omar D. Williams of Walden Avenue, Buffalo, pleaded guilty in a forged paycheck scam.
Williams, 28, was accused of depositing a bogus check for $8,694.19 at Unit No. 1 Federal Credit Union, Lockport, in August. Assistant District Attorney Adam J. Foltz said the check was generated on a computer owned by a co-defendant, although it appeared to be a paycheck from Buffalo Youth Training & Employment.
Williams deposited the check in a new account and then withdrew $8,000. He pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, a Class D felony that could bring him a seven-year prison term when he is sentenced March 15.
Foltz said charges are pending against two Buffalo co-defendants -- Vanda L. Wright, 35, of Bailey Avenue, and Corwin H. Johnson, 30, of Wright Avenue -- who are accused of pulling similar fraudulent deposit and withdrawal moves at Lockport credit unions. Foltz said Johnson is believed to have used a computer to print the checks.
In sex cases before Broderick:
Scott W. Follendorf Sr., 39, of South Meadow Drive, North Tonawanda, was sentenced to 10 days in the county jail, to be served on weekends, for molesting a boy under age 16 in a Town of Lockport mobile home park on June 16.
Follendorf pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. The district attorney's office had erroneously reported that Follendorf pleaded guilty to third-degree sodomy when he entered his plea Dec. 7.
Besides the weekends in jail, Follendorf was fined $1,000, placed on probation for three years, and ordered to enroll in a sex offender treatment program.
Christopher T. McCoy, 31, of High Street, Lockport, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of third-degree sodomy for having sex with a man who was passed out drunk on Nov. 26, 1999, in a home on Cedar Street, Lockport. Prosecutors said at the time of McCoy's arraignment that the victim's blood alcohol content was measured at .30 percent, and he also tested positive for marijuana and cocaine use. McCoy is to be sentenced April 24.
Daniel V. Burgos, 29, of Clinton Street, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted third-degree rape for having consensual sex with a 15-year-old girl in Lockport on Sept. 6. Broderick sentenced him to three years' probation, ordered him to undergo mental health counseling and to register annually as a sex offender.