BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A former Buffalo firefighter will spend two to four years in prison for schemes to defraud.

36-year-old Robert Johnson, Jr. was sentenced as a second felony offender. The Erie County District Attorney’s Office says that in the summer of 2016, he applied for two auto loans and a credit card through a local credit union.

Prosecutors say that on those applications, Johnson used a minor’s Social Security number, as well as fake employment and earnings information. Ultimately, the applications were approved, allowing Johnson to buy the two cars, which were valued at a combined $41,000. He also received approval for a credit card with a $20,000 limit.

Just over a year after this, the cars were repossessed for non-payment. Additionally, the credit card account was closed with a balance exceeding $20,000.

In January 2017, the District Attorney’s Office says Johnson deposited a forged check for more than $12,700 into his bank account. The next day, he withdrew $12,700, stealing the money from the bank.

The following December, prosecutors say Johnson applied for two more auto loans at two different credit unions. He used a Social Security number that wasn’t his, as well as fake employment and earnings information. Those applications were denied.

This past April, Johnson pleaded guilty to the following felony charges:

  • identity theft (three counts)
  • criminal possession of a forged instrument
  • grand larceny
  • attempted identity theft (two counts)
  • scheme to defraud

Johnson’s pleas took place two days before jury selection in his upcoming trial was scheduled to begin.

As part of his pleas, Johnson signed confessions of judgment in favor of the bank and credit unions, totaling $59,748. He also signed a lack of permission affidavit regarding the Social Security number belonging to a minor.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.