SCHENECTADY - A Colonie man accused of scamming three people, including two in their 90s, has now been indicted on hate crimes due to the victims' ages, Schenectady County District Attorney's officials said.
Craig E. Kearsing, 38, appeared in Schenectady County Court Monday and pleaded not guilty.
He faces three counts of grand larceny as hate crimes and one count each of criminal possession of a forged instrument and scheme to defraud, all felonies.
Kearsing is accused of stealing more than $3,000 from two different victims and more than $1,000 from another victim.
The victims have been identified as a 93-year-old man from Niskayuna, a 95-year-old woman and 65-year-old woman, both from Schenectady.
Kearsing is accused of accepting and cashing a check for $4,470 from the 65-year-old woman in July for work that he never performed, according to allegations filed previously.
Kearsing is also accused of taking and cashing a $1,000 check from the 95-year-old woman in October for work that he also didn't provide, authorities have alleged.
Kearsing was initially arrested related to the Niskayuna man allegedly accepting payment of $5,200 from the man in July for work on te man's driveway that was never performed.
A preliminary hearing in that case Nov. 7 included testimony from the victim and police.
Prosecutors argued Kearsing stole the money in a scam. Kearsing's attorney, Brendan Keller, argued that Kearsing did do work and there was no larceny.
The charges were increased to hate crimes as Kearsing is accused of targeting the victims due to their ages.
The hate crime designation increases the potential penalties upon conviction. Kearsing would face up to 5 to 15 years in state prison, if convicted of the top hate crime count against him.
Assistant District Attorney William M. Lemon is prosecuting.