One of three men convicted of a check kiting scheme in Oneida and Onondaga counties is sentenced to 6 to 18 years in prison.

Kevin Singleton Lee was the so-called 'ringleader', the New York Attorney General's Office says, of a con that targeted regional credit unions and bank branches in central New York and the Capital Region between December of 2015 and August 2017.

The scheme involved the creation of bank accounts tied to phony businesses. They recruited 'financially vulnerable' college students and young people on social media by promising them a 'fee' or portion of the check for cashing it, the AG's office says.

After the checks were deposited and funds became available, Singleton-Lee, Simpson, and Green drained the accounts of the available balances before the checks were returned and the financial institutions discovered them to be worthless. In some instances, the defendants even assumed the identities of the account holders without their knowledge and consent, accessed their accounts using personal information the defendants required for asserted security purposes, and withdrew funds through ATM transactions.

All told, the scam raked in more than $175,000,

Singleton-Lee and co-defendants Jerome Simpson and Daniel Green were found guilty in December 2017.

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