Schenectady County

Schenectady man accused in $20,000 check-writing scheme

A Schenectady man accused in a $20,000 check-writing scheme was ordered held Friday on $40,000 bail.

A city man accused in a $20,000 check-writing scheme was ordered held Friday on $40,000 bail.

Edward C. Cuomo, 50, of 242 Brandywine Ave., was arrested earlier this month, accused of defrauding three financial institutions out of a total of $20,000, prosecutor William Sanderson told Schenectady County Court Judge Karen Drago today.

With his prior felony convictions possibly making him a persistent felon, Cuomo may face up to life in prison, if convicted, Sanderson told the judge.

Cuomo was in court asking Drago to set bail in his case. His prior felonies, in similar cases from the 1990s, prevented lower courts from considering bail. Cuomo has been in jail on the Schenectady case since Oct. 14.

Cuomo’s attorney, Sven Paul, argued for bail of as little as $10,000. Paul argued that Cuomo is the owner of a local business, a lifelong resident of the area and, his record notwithstanding, has had little police contact in the past five years.

Sanderson, though, argued that Cuomo’s business, Supreme Steak and Seafood, was at the core of the current case. He said Cuomo wrote checks on a closed personal account, deposited them in his business account and then withdrew the cash before the banks realized the checks were bad.

Drago ultimately set Cuomo’s bail at $40,000, focusing on a recent allegation that he failed to show up for court in Colonie, choosing instead to tend to his business. That, Drago said, showed Cuomo wasn’t taking the charges as seriously as he should be.

In one of Cuomo’s previous felony cases, he admitted to taking $18,000 from two banks in 1997 in another check-writing scheme, newspaper records show.

Cuomo was sentenced to two to four years in state prison in that case. His attorney in that case argued that Cuomo took the money to fund a gambling addiction.

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