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POLICE & COURTS - North Suburban

DWI charge filed in crash injuring driver

A serious one-vehicle accident early this morning in the Town of Clarence left a Clarence Center man charged with driving while intoxicated after he was pulled out of the vehicle and taken to the hospital, Erie County sheriff's deputies said.

Derek J. Smaczniak, 20, was freed from the vehicle and treated by the Swormville Fire Company, before being taken by Mercy Flight to Erie County Medical Center. He still was being treated in the emergency room late this morning, but sheriff's officials said his injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

Deputies said two Tonawanda Creek Road residents called 911 at 12:27 a.m. to report a vehicle rolled over on the side of the road. Deputies found the vehicle extensively damaged, with the driver still inside.

Investigators later determined that he had been supplied alcoholic beverages by Joseph D. Montaldi, 19, of Lockport, who was charged with unlawfully dealing with a child, according to police reports.


Prison term imposed on West Seneca swindler

Two judges Monday sentenced a West Seneca woman to 4 1/2 years in prison for swindling her ex-fiance's mother, an auto dealership and AAA members while on probation for check fraud.

Lisa Wisniewski, 34, of Brookside Drive, was taken into custody after sentencings by State Supreme Court Justices Richard C. Kloch Sr. and Joseph S. Forma for separate crimes.

Kloch ordered her to spend 18 months to 4 1/2 years in prison on her June 27 guilty plea to charges of grand larceny and scheme to defraud.

Forma imposed a similar sentence, to run concurrently, for violating the probation he imposed 13 months ago on her guilty plea to scheme to defraud for swindling four local banks out of $41,000.

John C. Doscher, chief of the White-Collar Crime Bureau of the Erie County district attorney's office, said Wisniewski had been spared prison on her felony plea to swindling local banks in a check-kiting scheme several years ago. However, authorities learned that two years ago she got two out-of-state investment firms to send her checks totaling $20,000 by posing as the mother of a local man she was going to marry, the prosecutor said.

In June 2004, she used a wire-transfer scheme to get a $31,000 car from Auto Place Infinity by depositing a $29,000 check she had made out on an empty bank account, Doscher said. And from last February to April 6, while working in the Amherst office of AAA, she stole credit card numbers of nine clients and ran up $20,000 in purchases before she was fired, the prosecutor said.


Union official admits embezzling $36,000

An Amherst man who is record keeper for Local 1-6992, Paper, Allied Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union, admitted Monday embezzling more than $36,000 from the union, U.S. Justice Department officials said.

Albert Moore Jr., 54, faced up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for his guilty plea to one count of embezzling union funds.

Moore maintained the books and records of the union, including its checkbook, and took the money between January 2000 and May 2002, all while hiding the embezzlement from fellow union officers, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Gretchen L. Wylegala.

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