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Property scammer spared prison but faces restitution fight by prosecutors

Timothy J. Keller, 44, of Derrick City, Pa., was spared further jail time Monday by Cattaraugus County Court Judge Ronald D. Ploetz in Little Valley on his guilty plea two months ago to third-degree grand larceny in a massive property theft case.

In addition to the 100 hours of community service the judge ordered, Keller faces an Aug. 29 restitution hearing at which prosecutors will seek more than $50,000 that he cheated almost a dozen people out of in property scams between January 2007 and September 2014, according to Cattaraugus County District Attorney Lori Pettit Rieman.

Also Monday before Ploetz in Little Valley:

• Lance E. Ek, 44, of Olean pleaded guilty to three separate crimes in Olean since last summer. Ek, who has prior convictions in both Cattaraugus County and the State of Florida since 1998, pleaded guilty to a felony assault for a July 28, 2015, incident in Olean, fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property for a Jan. 19 arrest in Olean and second-degree burglary for an April 7 arrest during an Olean break-in. He faces sentencing on all three cases Jan. 3, 2017.

• Christopher D. Gaylor, 31, of Olean, pleaded guilty to second-degree rape and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child for sexual intercourse with two juveniles under 15 years old in the Village of Portville in February 2015 and March 2015. Arrested by State Police on Jan. 10, Gaylor faces sentencing Sept. 26.

• Shauna Covert, 29, of Olean, pleaded guilty to fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for a City of Olean drug deal on Dec. 3, 2014. She faces sentencing Sept. 26.

• Alexander Lute, 29, of Olean, was ordered to serve a one-year term in the Cattaraugus County Jail and to make full restitution for damaging another person’s property during an incident in the City of Olean on May 18, 2015. He pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal mischief on May 23.

• Amanda L. Borner, 21, of Perrysburg, was placed on probation for five years on her May 23 guilty plea to third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for a drug deal in Gowanda last Sept. 25.


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