Colonie man sentenced for hate crimes scamming the elderly

Albany County

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Schenectady County District Attorney announced that Craig Kearsing, 39, of Colonie was sentenced to 3-and-a-half to 10 years in state prison for robbing the elderly in 2019.

District Attorney Robert M. Carne said, “This defendant preyed upon senior citizens in ways we have unfortunately seen before. He would knock on doors claiming he was doing work in the neighborhood and had extra materials that he would use to seal their driveway or perform yard work, all at a discount. He would quote a price and then attempt to collect much more. People should be warned not to engage with cold calling con artists like Mr. Kearsing.”

Carney says that Kearsing targeted victims for their advanced age. Two were in their 90s. He pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree and one count of fourth-degree grand larceny as a hate crime back in October.

The guilty plea to three felony larceny charges meant admitting to stealing over $3,000 each from two different victims, plus $1,000 more from a third. The hate crime designation comes from his targeting a specific group.

Part of the plea deal included a three-month period to save money to repay his elderly victims. Because Kearsing failed to do so, the recommended sentence of one year in jail and five years of probation was “enhanced.” Because he also missed a court date, he was arrested on February 4 on a bench warrant.

Kearsing was remanded to Schenectady County Jail. While in custody, he has been charged with another fourth-degree grand larceny charge for alleged insurance fraud committed in jail. Authorities say he collected unemployment benefits to use for making restitution to his victims and getting a better sentence.

Along with the enhanced sentence, he has to pay $10,670. The District Attorney’s Office also secured $2,990 in fraudulent unemployment benefits from Kearsing when he was sentenced.

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