Ringleader Of Local Check Cashing Scheme Pleads Guilty

Modified: December 20, 2016 2:49pm

12/19/2016

Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr. announces that 31-year-old Robert Haggins of Atlanta, Georgia has pleaded guilty before State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia to four counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree for orchestrating a check cashing scheme in the Buffalo area that netted more than $52,000.

Haggins recruited nine local men and women, many of them homeless or drug addicted, to use their names on forged, counterfeit checks to be cashed at banks all across Erie County. The check amounts ranged from $2,000 to $5,000, and a small portion of the money was given after the transactions to those he allegedly recruited to cash the checks.

From November 2015 until May 2016, the defendant offered approximately 36 checks to be cashed with the loss to local banks totaling more than $52,000.

Haggins faces up to 28 years in prison when he is sentenced by Justice Buscaglia on February 6, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.

In May, the nine indigent people Haggins recruited pleaded guilty to several counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument and have been sentenced.

Acting DA Flaherty commends Amherst Police Detectives John Trabert and Robert Cunningham for their diligence in this investigation.

Candace K. Vogel, Chief of DA Flaherty’s Special Investigations and Prosecutions Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Gary M. Ertel are prosecuting the case.