BALLSTON SPA — A career con artist who once involved a Schenectady police sergeant in a car scam admitted guilt in another case of fraud on Monday, this one involving a harness horse, authorities said.
Anthony F. Aubin, 27, of Clifton Park, appeared in Saratoga County Court on Monday and pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree grand larceny, a felony.
He is to be sentenced in March. The terms of the plea deal were not available Monday afternoon.
Saratoga Springs police arrested Aubin in October on charges that accused him of stealing $5,000 from a man in June.
Aubin led the victim to believe he was purchasing "claiming rights" to two different harness horses at Saratoga Raceway, police aid.
The victim paid Aubin but later learned that one of the horses pitched by Aubin was actually retired, and the other was already owned outright by someone else unconnected to Aubin. Aubin had no direct connection to either horse, police said.
Aubin used his actual first name, but a different last name during the scam, police said.
Aubin met the victim over the internet and began socializing before Aubin convinced him to buy into the race horse scheme, Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen said.
Aubin turned over $1,000 in restitution on Monday and is to pay back the rest as part of his sentence. Heggen did not outline the full terms of the expected sentence.
The horse fraud happened during a two-weeks period when Aubin was free pending sentencing for an Albany County scam, the one connected to former Schenectady police Sgt. Jonathan Moore, police said.
In the earlier case, Aubin was accused of attempting to defraud car dealerships in Colonie out of expensive vehicles in September and October 2016.
Aubin pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument in that case and was sentenced to two to four years in state prison on July 6.
Moore, who was never accused of criminal wrongdoing, accompanied Aubin to two of the dealerships, police have said. Aubin lived with Moore at the time.
Colonie police have said Moore may have been ensnared in Aubin's scheme through fake identities and false information presented by Aubin, who may have used Moore to add legitimacy to the plan. They determined Moore to be a witness, rather than a suspect.
The case included salacious allegations, including a reported statement from Moore that he agreed to work in the porn industry and that Moore used a closed police computer system for personal use.
City police officials have said both actions would violate department policy. Moore resigned from the force in January 2017.
Aubin has a history of other scams as well, including a 2010 cross-country crime spree with a California man for which both were arrested in Glens Falls. They were accused of taking three high-end vehicles from dealerships, including one from Rhode Island, under false pretenses, The Glens Falls Post-Star wrote about the 2010 arrests, citing police.
Aubin and the California man were also wanted in Kansas for defrauding potential apartment renters in a scam there, police told the paper then.
Locally, Colonie police arrested Aubin in 2009 and 2010, in one case for allegedly stealing from a local business' cash register and trying to cover it up.
Then, in March 2013, state police caught up with Aubin for scamming a Niskayuna car dealership by forging documents to trade in a Lexus for a Ford Explorer.
Aubin pleaded guilty in that case and received 18 months to 3 years in state prison, a term that ran concurrent with a related case from Saratoga County.