Schenectady County District Attorney Robert M. Carney announced today that on February 9, 2022, William Kent, a 62 year old resident of Niskayuna, NY, was sentenced to a term of 1 and 1/3 to 4 years in state prison by Schenectady County Court Judge Matthew J. Sypniewski after a jury convicted the defendant on two counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree and seven counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, all of which are Class D felonies.
The defendant’s conviction stems from the defendant’s check fraud during which he stole more than $60,000 from CapCom Credit Union and NBT Bank. Over the course of four days, the defendant deposited seven fraudulent cashier’s checks purportedly drawn on a Navy Federal Credit Union account. After each deposit, the defendant immediately withdrew large sums of cash. Once the fraudulent checks began bouncing, the defendant’s bank accounts went negative, leaving CapCom and NBT with thousands of dollars of losses. The banks advised the defendant of the fraud, yet he made no effort to make them whole.
Only after his indictment and before his jury trial, the defendant made restitution in full to each of his victims. Despite that, the defendant refused to resolve the charges through a guilty plea. Instead, the defendant sought a jury trial and asserted that he did not know that the checks he used were fraudulent. The jury unanimously rejected his version of events and delivered guilty verdicts on all counts for which he was tried.
During sentencing, the defendant continued to assert his innocence, asking for leniency due to his age, health, as well as the impact the proceedings had on him and his family. Judge Sypniewski rejected these requests. He explained that he found that the evidence of guilt at trial was “overwhelming” and that the defendant’s continued claim of innocence was “unbelievable” and directly contradicted the defendant’s claim that he was remorseful. Judge Sypniewski further pointed out that the defendant “tried to buy his way out” of facing any consequences for his actions (referencing the fact that restitution had been made before trial). He further explained that he had no sympathy for the defendant, because it was the defendant who had “charted this path” for more than 2 years. Before imposing the state prison sentence, Judge Sypniewski told the defendant, “You are a liar. You are a thief.”
This case was prosecuted by ADA William Lemon and the defendant was represented by attorney Mark Juda.