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North Tonawanda woman pleads guilty in forged check case

LOCKPORT – A North Tonawanda woman who cashed a forged paycheck from a company for which she never worked pleaded guilty Wednesday and was assigned by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III to the judicial diversion program.

Stacey C. Farrell, 34, of Payne Avenue, admitted to second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument. However, that felony plea would be reduced to a misdemeanor if Farrell succeeds in the two-year diversion program of court-supervised drug treatment.

Farrell has come up with $289.88 in restitution for the check, cashed Dec. 5, 2014 at a Fastop store in North Tonawanda. The check was purportedly from “Condos on the Boardwalk,” but the repayment was owed to M&T Bank, Assistant District Attorney John N. Philipps Jr. said.

Charges remain pending against two co-defendants in the forged check case: Melissa S. Wilson, 37, and Hans Starkweather, 39, both also of Payne Avenue.