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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 19, 2016

Cheektowaga Man Pleads Guilty To 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, pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci. The charge carries a mandatory penalty of two years in prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott S. Allen, Jr., who is handling the case, stated that 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 plea 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.

Sentencing is scheduled for August 18, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. before Judge Geraci.

Updated May 23, 2016