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Buffalo man pleads guilty to fraudulent check scheme

A Buffalo man pleaded guilty Friday before Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny to bank fraud for a scheme that cost First Niagara Bank $14,185 in bad check deals.

Tarrek Williams, 27, faces a prison term of up to 30 years and a fine of up to $1 million when he is sentenced at 11 a.m. Dec. 17.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie P. Grisanti said that between Sept. 21, 2011 and July 28, 2013, Williams deposited fraudulent checks at First Niagara branches so others involved in the scheme could withdraw funds before the bank realized there were insufficient funds to cover the checks.

Neither she nor U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. would discuss other suspects linked to the scam, which was uncovered by agents of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.