TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) - An AWOL service member has pleaded guilty to charges of passing bad checks while posing as a reservist being deployed overseas.
Steven D. Burns, 22, of Sanborn would wear his military uniform, claim he was deploying overseas in a few days and state that he needed the cash immediately. Sympathetic bank clerks would accommodate him before realizing the checks did not clear.
Town of Tonawanda Police Lt. Nick Bado said, "The check was from another bank. They couldn't quickly verify it. But appreciating what sacrifices military people make, they wanted to accommodate him. They cashed the check for him only to find out that the account was closed."
Burns pleaded guilty Tuesday to first degree scheme to defraud. Prosecutors say Burns used the ill-gotten gains to gamble.
He will be sentenced in May and faces a maximum sentence of one-and-a-third to four years in prison.
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