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What you need to know for 07/27/2017

Schenectady man gets five years in prison for stabbing roommate

Schenectady man gets five years in prison for stabbing roommate

A city man faces five years in prison in addition to an unrelated federal sentence after pleading gu

A city man faces five years in prison in addition to an unrelated federal sentence after pleading guilty in the stabbing of his roommate.

Michael A. Scouten, 30, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Schenectady County Court to one count of first-degree attempted assault, a felony.

Scouten was accused of stabbing his roommate once in the stomach May 11 in their Jay Street apartment. The victim was taken to Albany Medical Center for surgery, authorities said at the time.

In exchange for his plea, Scouten is to receive five years in prison at his January sentencing, prosecutor Michael DeMatteo said.

Based on the injury, the single stab wound and the consecutive federal time, DeMatteo said the plea was an appropriate outcome.

Scouten was represented by attorney John Della Ratta.

In the federal case, Scouten admitted in September to taking part in a scheme to cash fraudulent tax refund checks made payable to people who were deceased, making off with more than $30,000 in the process.

Scouten pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to two federal charges: conspiracy and passing a Treasury check with a forged instrument. He faces as much as 10 years in federal prison and agreed to waive any right to appeal a sentence of 21 months or less.

According to the federal paperwork, the co-conspirators filed false federal income tax returns for people who had died, intending to fraudulently receive the tax refund checks. Scouten and others forged the endorsements on the checks and then deposited them and made off with the money.

Scouten opened two personal checking accounts in November 2011 at banks in Schenectady for the purpose of cashing the tax refund checks made out to dead people. From Dec. 8, 2011, to Jan. 17, 2012, he received eight checks ranging from about $3,400 to more than $5,200 from a co-conspirator.

The scheme was discovered before Scouten was able to withdraw the money from the eighth check, deposited Jan. 17, 2012.

Scouten is also to be sentenced in that case in January.

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