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Atlanta man charged in Buffalo check-cashing scheme

An Atlanta man has been accused of running a check-cashing scheme in the Buffalo area that pulled in more than $52,000, according to the Erie County District Attorney's Office.

Robert Haggins, 31, has been charged with first-degree scheme to defraud, 24 counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument and four counts of third-degree grand larceny, the DA's office said.

According to authorities, Haggins recruited nine men and women, many of whom were homeless or drug addicted, to use their names on forged checks that were cashed at banks across the county.

In total, more than $52,000 in fraudulent checks were cashed. Check amounts ranged from $2,000 to $5,000 and a small part of the money was given to those who allowed their names to be used, the DA's office said.

A grand jury indicted Haggins, who is accused of running the scheme from November 2015 through last May. He pleaded not guilty and was sent to the Erie County Holding Center without bail.

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