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Guilty Pleas in Hate Crime Ring

Albany County District Attorney David Soares

 

 

Press Release

February 11, 2016

 

 

Guilty Pleas in Hate Crime Ring

 

 

 

 

ALBANY, NY – District Attorney P. David Soares announced today that two defendants have pleaded guilty to criminal charges in relation to a ring of hate crimes.

SUSAN BARR, 58, of Altamont, pleaded guilty to (1) Count of Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree as a Hate Crime, a Class E Felony, before the Honorable Judge Roger McDonough in Albany County Court this morning.  BARR faces up to 2 to 4 years in State Prison when sentenced on March 18, 2016.

On February 3, 2016, SUSAN BARR’s son and co-defendant, BRIAN BARR, 37, of Schenectady, pleaded guilty to (2) Counts of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree as a Hate Crime, both Class D Felonies, and (1) Count of Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree as a Hate Crime, a Class E Felony, before Honorable Judge Roger McDonough in Albany County Supreme Court.  BRIAN BARR faces 7 ½ to 15 years in State Prison when sentenced on March 18, 2016.

On separate dates between February 2014 and November 2014, several co-defendants performed work under false pretenses for victims at their respective homes, including driveway sealing, foundation work, and roof repair. The ring of co-defendants targeted elderly victims in various residences the City of Albany, Town of Bethlehem, and Town of Colonie.  The victims were targeted based on perceptions of their age, and the co-defendants did overcharge the victims, or fail to do work for which payment was collected, based on those perceptions. The theft from all victims was in excess of $40,000.00.

Other co-defendants in this ring have previously pleaded guilty:

On January 14, 2016, JESSICA PARADISO, 27, of Schenectady, pleaded guilty to (2) Counts of Attempted Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, and (1) Count of Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree as a Hate Crime, all Class E Felonies, before the Honorable Judge Roger McDonough in Albany County Court.  PARADISO faces up to 6 to 12 years in State Prison when sentenced on March 18, 2016.

On August 5, 2015, JOHN RISTO, 60, pleaded guilty to (1) Count of Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree as a Hate Crime, a Class E Felony, before the Honorable Judge Roger McDonough in Albany County Court.  RISTO faces 1 1/3 to 4 years in State Prison when he is sentenced on March 18, 2016.

Additionally, on May 14, 2015, HENRY HICKS, then 58, of Albany, pleaded guilty to (1) Count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree as a Hate Crime, a Class C Felony and (1) Count of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree as a Hate Crime, a Class D Felony, before the Honorable Judge Roger McDonough in Albany County Court.  HICKS faces up to 9 to 18 years in State Prison when he is sentenced on March 18, 2016.

Lastly, on April 1, 2015, JOHN WATERSON, then 37, of Albany, pleaded guilty to (1) Count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a Class D Felony, and (1) Count of Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, a Class A Misdemeanor, before the Honorable Judge Stephen Herrick in Albany County Court.  WATERSON faces up to 3 ½ to 7 years in State Prison when he is sentenced on February 24, 2016.

Assistant District Attorney Jessica Blain-Lewis of the Financial Crimes Bureau is prosecuting these cases.

For more information please contact Cecilia Walsh at (518) 275-4710.

 

 

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