Tonawanda News

October 31, 2012

Town man pleads guilty to theft from priest

Staff Reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Seida, III announced Tuesday that Richard Kesick pleaded guilty to third-degree grand larceny, admitting he stole vast sums of money from an elderly priest.

Kesick, 57, of 32 Laird Avenue, Buffalo admitted to before Erie County Court Judge Thomas P. Franczyk he stole $500,000 from a 91-year-old Buffalo area priest. 

The case originated in the Town of Tonawanda, when a concerned party asked police for assistance. It is not clear, however, if the priest lives in Tonawanda. 

Town Lt. William Krier played a large role in prosecuting Kesick. 

Kesick used false representations to take the money from the cleric between June 21, 2001 through July 16, 2012. 

“Kesick claimed, at various times, that the money would be used to pay ransom, make bail, pay medical expenses from a stab wound he experienced in the Chicago area and other emergency expenses,” the statement reads.

He also pretended to be a judge from Tennessee and an insurance company representative over the phone. Kesick made the victim believe the funds would be repaid, but he actually used them for gambling and lifestyle costs. 

Tuesday morning, Kesick signed a confession of judgment for $500,000 to the victim.

Kesick’s criminal history dates back to 1972 and includes theft convictions, including burglary, forgery and criminal possession of stolen property, including arson. 

Sedita added the defendant is “an especially loathsome and despicable swindler.”

Candace Vogel, financial elder abuse attorney, prosecuted Kesick.

He is set to be sentenced at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 12. Kesick faces a maximum prison sentence of 7 years.