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Ex-bank manager admits larceny

A former HSBC manager pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing almost $54,000 through a company credit card and a computer scheme before he was fired about a year ago.

Joseph D. Schneck, 41, of Unionvale Road, Cheektowaga, an 18-year HSBC employee, pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree grand larceny.

State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang said she is considering a nonjail sentence in the embezzlement schemes but also warned he could also face up to seven years in prison.

Prosecutor Brian R. Dassero said that from Feb. 1, 2008, until last January, Schneck -- who had worked from the bank's downtown Buffalo office -- had been making unauthorized purchases on bank credit cards and using a bank computer system to transfer funds to a relative's bank account.

As part of the plea, Schneck was forced to sign confessions of judgment. He pleaded guilty to the highest counts a grand jury could have lodged against him, Dassero said.

Dassero said the Erie County District Attorney's Office became involved after Schneck's scams raised "red flags" at the bank late last year, leading to an internal investigation. He was fire on Jan. 22, 2010.

Schneck remains free without bail pending his sentencing May 2, when the judge will be asked to order him to make full restitution.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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