Cheektowaga Man Charged With Aggravated Identity Theft
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX: (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Paul Keener, a/k/a Aaron Silverman, a/k/a Paul Robison, a/k/a Scott Walker, 47, of Cheektowaga, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with aggravated identity theft and using a passport secured by false statement. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of two years and a maximum penalty of 12 years in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott S. Allen, Jr., who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, in 1996, the defendant escaped from state custody in Colorado. Soon thereafter, Keener purchased false identification documents associated with a confirmed missing person who has been missing from his family in Virginia since 1993. The defendant purchased the documents from a seller on Craigslist for $300.00.
From 1995 to the present, Keener maintained several aliases supported by false identification documents including U.S. passports and driver’s licenses. Law enforcement officials learned of the defendant’s presence in Western New York in January 2016. Using his aliases and false identification documents, Keener has crossed into Canada, registered to vote, applied for and received federal financial student aid, and has obtained Social Security cards.
The defendant is being held following a detention hearing this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy.
The complaint is the result of an investigation by the Diplomatic Security Service, U.S. Department of State, under the direction of William Ferrari, the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Edward J. Ryan, and the United States Marshals Service, under the direction Charles Salina.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.