SCHENECTADY, NY (April 13, 2021) Schenectady County District Attorney Robert M. Carney announced that Schenectady County Court Judge Matthew J. Sypniewski sentenced defendant Craig Kearsing, a 39-year old Colonie man, to 3 and 1/3 to 10 years of state incarceration for stealing money from elderly victims at various times in 2019.
On October 26, 2020, Mr. Kearsing pleaded guilty to three counts of grand larceny, each as a hate crime (two counts of Grand Larceny in the 2nd Degree as a hate crime, each a Class C felony, and one count of Grand Larceny in the 4th Degree as a hate crime, a Class D felony). In so doing, Mr. Kearsing admitted that, in July and October 2019, he stole more than $3,000 from two different victims and more than $1,000 from a third victim, and that he did so because of the victims’ age. Two of Mr. Kearsing’s victims were in their nineties.
As part of his plea agreement, Mr. Kearsing’s case was adjourned for approximately three months to allow him an opportunity to gather funds to repay each of his victims. If Mr. Kearsing repaid his victims he would have received a recommended sentence of 1 year in jail time and 5 years’ of probation. However, if he failed to make restitution, he would receive a sentence of 2 to 6 years of state incarceration. However, Mr. Kearsing missed his court date which resulted in a bench warrant being issued for his arrest on February 2, 2021. Two days later, on February 4, 2021, Mr. Kearsing was arrested by local law enforcement and returned on the warrant, and remanded into the custody of the Schenectady County Jail.
Since that time, Mr. Kearsing was subsequently charged on April 5, 2021, with, among other things, one count of Grand Larceny in the 4th Degree for allegedly committing unemployment insurance fraud while in jail. Specifically, it is alleged that Mr. Kearsing obtained unemployment insurance benefits while in jail and not entitled to collect them in an effort to improve his position in relation to his guilty plea and obtain a more favorable sentence. Mr. Kearsing’s unemployment insurance fraud was discovered by members of the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office and was immediately referred to the New York State Department of Labor.
Because of the defendant’s criminal conduct following his guilty plea and his failures to appear, the District Attorney’s Office and Mr. Kearsing’s counsel reached an agreement as to an enhanced sentence, resulting in the 3 and 1/3 to 10-year sentence imposed by Schenectady County Court Judge Sypniewski. The Court also ordered the defendant to pay restitution the amount of $10,670. The District Attorney’s Office also secured repayment of $2,990 in fraudulent unemployment benefits from Mr. Kearsing at the time of his sentence.
District Attorney Carney stated “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 yardwork, 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.”
This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney William M. Lemon. The defendant was represented by Brian Mercy of the Schenectady County Conflict Defender’s Office. For further information, contact ADA William M. Lemon at (518) 388-4364