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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Buffalo Man Sentenced For Robbing Four Banks

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE:  (716) 843-5817
FAX #:                 (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Clifford B. Smith, 34, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of bank robbery and tampering with a witness, was sentenced to 151 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $31,392 by Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie P. Grisanti, who handled the case, stated that between September 2011 and November 2011, Smith robbed four HSBC Bank locations throughout the City of Buffalo.  On each occasion, he presented the teller with a note and threatened a gun.

During the last robbery, Smith brandished a gun and robbed three tellers and told the tellers that if a dye pack goes off outside, someone is going to get shot.  During this robbery, one of the customers experienced chest pain and thought she was having a heart attack. The defendant robbed the branch twice within two weeks, and one of the tellers recognized Smith from the earlier robbery.

Smith also attempted to convince a witness to lie and say that she was with the defendant when the robberies occurred. Smith later sent a letter to the woman providing her with some of the dates that he wanted her to use for his alibi.

The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation by the Buffalo and Philadelphia Offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda.

Updated May 7, 2015