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Feds: Scotia man admits conspiracy to defraud Sunmark Federal Credit Union over ad buys

Feds: Scotia man admits conspiracy to defraud Sunmark Federal Credit Union over ad buys

Feds: Scotia man admits conspiracy to defraud Sunmark Federal Credit Union over ad buys
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ALBANY - A Scotia man has admitted he conspired to defraud Sunmark Federal Credit Union and helping to take more than $70,000 for advertising buys that were never made, federal court records show.

Michael J. Massey, 55, pleaded guilty last month in U.S. District Court in Albany to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

He admitted that he conspired with others to steal the money from Sunmark between December 2012 to October 2013. Others allegedly involved were not named in paperwork, though one is described as a Sunmark employee. No one else has been charged.

Massey owned and operated a company in Latham called Putidin that did business under the names Media Man, Your Ad Here Media Group and YAH Media Group, according to his federal plea agreement.

In December 2012, he entered into a contract with Sunmark that provided his business would act as a media consultant to Sunmark.

During that contract, Massey and the others conspired to inflate the amounts spent on media purchases and then pocket the difference, according to the plea agreement.

Massey prepared and submitted invoices totaling nearly $450,000 for advertising on Sunmark's behalf, but the conspirators did not purchase the full amount. Instead, the excess was diverted to a company owned by Massey and two other conspirators, the agreement reads.

As a result, Sunmark paid more than $70,000 the company wasn't entitled to.

Massey is represented by attorney George LaMarche. LaMarche noted Monday that the allegations date back more than six years and the investigation nearly as long. Prosecutors had initial discussions with the defense about a possible resolution in 2014, LaMarche said.

LaMarche called his client the "least culpable" of those being investigated. Nonetheless, Massey has accepted responsibility for his role, LaMarche said.

"He certainly regrets and is remorseful about what happened," LaMarche said.

Massey is no longer in the ad-buying business, he lawyer said. "He's not the person today that he was five years ago," LaMarche said.

Asked about the case this past week, Sunmark issued a statement indicating that it is "satisfied to finally see this case reach a resolution."

"Sunmark is member-owned and we will always be diligent to protect our members’ assets and counter any illegal activity to the fullest extent of the law," the statement concluded.

Massey is due to be sentenced in February. His final sentence will be determined then, but his plea agreement provides that he waives his right to appeal any sentence of up to two years in prison.

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