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Elma businessman sentenced to more than 4 years in postal scam

An Elma businessman was sentenced to four years and four months in federal prison on Tuesday after pleading guilty to mail fraud, money laundering and filing a false tax return.

A tearful and apologetic William L. Toth Jr., 42, told District Judge Richard J. Arcara he has no one but himself to blame for his problems with alcohol, gambling and the crimes that led to his imprisonment.

"I am very sorry for what I have done. I have failed many times in my life, and I've come back," Toth said. "I will get my respect back."

In May, Toth pleaded guilty to three felonies, admitting that he ran a complex scheme that enabled him to cheat the U.S. Postal Service out of $350,000 in postage. Toth committed the crimes while running a company called NYTEX in the years 2004-06.

Toth also admitted that he filed a false 2005 tax return that underestimated his taxes due by $40,000. He was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Internal Revenue Service criminal division.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gretchen L. Wylegala said she believes Toth is sorry for his crimes, but she noted that he committed them while he was already on probation in connection with a 2002 case in federal court.

In the 2002 case, Toth was sentenced to three years of probation after pleading guilty to a felony crime of possessing counterfeit stock certificates.

Under advisory sentencing guidelines, Arcara could have sent Toth to prison for a minimum of 46 months and a maximum of 57 months. Wylegala asked for a sentence on the high end of the guidelines while Toth's attorney, Herbert L. Greenman, asked for leniency.

Toth has already paid $100,000 in restitution to the Postal Service, and will be required to pay another $250,000, in addition to $40,000 to the IRS.

Arcara called Toth a "very compulsive individual" who allowed his life to "spin totally out of control."

e-mail: dherbeck@buffnews.com

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