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Lockport couple pleads guilty in forged check scheme

LOCKPORT – A Lockport man pleaded guilty Friday in Niagara County Court to taking part in a scheme to defraud his girlfriend’s mother by forging stolen checks.

Richard A. Pfenning, 38, of Dysinger Road, pleaded guilty to third-degree grand larceny and was assigned by Judge Sara Sheldon to the judicial diversion program of court-supervised drug treatment. Thursday, his live-in girlfriend, Rebecca A. Snyder, 33, entered the same plea and also entered diversion. Both are heroin addicts.

Assistant District Attorney John N. Philipps Jr. said Snyder stole blank checks from her mother in February and March and tried to forge them and cash them at banks. Each defendant will owe $1,950 in restitution to banks and $150 to Snyder’s mother. Philipps said they tried to write about $30,000 worth of checks, but banks rejected most of them. They also stole a TV set and a gaming console belonging to Snyder’s mother and sold them to get money for drugs, Philipps said.

If they fail in drug treatment, the couple face a maximum of seven years in prison.