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Heights Man Arrested For Fraud

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An Elmira Heights man was arrested earlier today on charges of fraud.  

New York State Police say Robert Comfort, age 40 of Elmira Heights, NY was arrested for Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree.  The arrest was made subsequent to an investigation beginning back in August of 2017. 

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It is alleged that over the course of several months Comfort had gone door to door requesting to borrow money to pay for fictitious vehicle maintenance.  The alleged actions took place in several townships, including but not limited to Big Flats, Chemung, Elmira, Elmira Heights, and Horseheads. 

Comfort was arraigned in the Elmira Heights Court, and was then remanded to the Chemung County Jail with no bail.

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KReed    61

I’m not saying that this guy isn’t a jerk…..but not sure his behavior should merit a felony fraud charge?

The penal law he’s charged with is crazy vague and seems to encompass just about any bum who begs for change. Seems like we could be getting a lot of annoying people off the streets if we’re going to enforce it like this.

http://law.onecle.com/new-york/penal/PEN0190.65_190.65.html

 

 

 “Hey buddy can you spare a few bucks for [insert sob story here]?”

Car repairs, parking meter, sammich…. Does anyone ever really believe that a panhandler’s excuse for wanting money is the whole truth?

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Mary    81

He has been running this scam for years, and been in and out of trouble for even longer. IT takes a lot of balls to even go do this in the first place, but then to openly admit who you are while doing it, just takes the cake. You would think he would leave town, and play the game somewhere where he doesn't know anyone. The social media fury stating all of the people who have witnessed this, was just astounding.  I feel bad for his family, as they are not anything like this, in fact, the polar opposite. 

 

I have often given money to people, and in my heart I hope they are using it for good, although I am sure they often aren't.  If they choose to misuse it, that's their karma.

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Hal    82
Posted (edited)

Agreed ... to a point . Yes this felony charge is a bit over top . It’s easy enough for any clear thinking individual to tell a scammer or panhandler No ! If they persist then all bets are off . Now where I disagree with the seemingly magic “10” strikes or reports is this ( and please tell me if I’m making the wrong correlation ) most Towns , B Town included , have a 10:00 pm to 10:00 am noise ordinance . Most folks take this to mean ( wrongly so ) they have every right to make any kind of noise , loud exhaust , car stereo bass , etc . they like in between those times . So by way of this example , a simple “ buddy can ya spare me a 20.00 for a coffee “ would be interpreted by these sorts as okay under the new law as long as they keep it to under ten times and or ten complaints . Now , understand I’m not being argumentative here just pointing out these folks as with the ones I pointed out will  ( wrongly again ) interpret any law to suit their purpose or to claim ing orange in the courtroom . We call them ... Sh ** Bird Lawyers here in B-Town ! 

Edited by Hal

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Chris    299
38 minutes ago, Mary said:

I have often given money to people, and in my heart I hope they are using it for good...

Hey Mary, can ya spare me 20.00 for bee- I mean, lunch?

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Hal    82

Trouble is this panhandling thing has become more prevalent in the area , especially around the Markets . Some folks don’t know how to handle it when it happens so they just cave and give the cash . This is bad , in this area it will grow to the point of the panhandlers making their request a demand ... 

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Chris    299

Screw that, I keep walking. We're in NY, there's plenty of "safety nets". Except for the taxpayers.

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KReed    61
9 hours ago, Mary said:

He has been running this scam for years, and been in and out of trouble for even longer. IT takes a lot of balls to even go do this in the first place, but then to openly admit who you are while doing it, just takes the cake. You would think he would leave town, and play the game somewhere where he doesn't know anyone. The social media fury stating all of the people who have witnessed this, was just astounding.

I don't doubt he's a complete ass and a brass-balled nuisance.....just questioning if there isn't some other charge that would have been more appropriate.

This particular charge seems to be aimed at other scumbags - like the "inspectors" that tell your home will be condemned if they don't fix your roof.....or the Pakistani "IRS agent" guy threatening to seize your assets if you don't pay him right now.

 

9 hours ago, Hal said:

Now where I disagree with the seemingly magic “10” strikes or reports is this ( and please tell me if I’m making the wrong correlation ) most Towns , B Town included , have a 10:00 pm to 10:00 am noise ordinance . Most folks take this to mean ( wrongly so ) they have every right to make any kind of noise , loud exhaust , car stereo bass , etc . they like in between those times . So by way of this example , a simple “ buddy can ya spare me a 20.00 for a coffee “ would be interpreted by these sorts as okay under the new law as long as they keep it to under ten times and or ten complaints .

Yeah...the stipulations seem arbitrary.....And a scammer could game it by staying under 10 or a prosecutor to over-charge a petty bum with a felony. 

EITHER approaching 10 or more marks, but only obtaining (no minimum amount) property from 1 or more

OR approaching more than one, and obtaining  $1,000 from at least one

OR approaching more than one "vulnerable elderly" mark, and obtaining (again, any amount) from at least one

So, asking 10 people for a dollar counts (as long as a pushover like Mary is one of those people). And that's the same charge as the "IRS agent" getting one victim to transfer a grand (which I agree should be a felony)....or asking two senior citizens for $1 counts if one gives in. 

 

It doesn't seem like the different scenarios even describe the same law.

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Hal    82

Well , I did ask to be corrected . But I think I made a mistake in not clarifying , it’s the perpetrators of these scams that when they find out they have 10 chances or reports , before they are charged with a felony ,  that will play the system or the 10 chance as opportunity . 

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