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Press Release

Dunkirk Man Pleads Guilty To Bank Fraud Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Dustin Walker, 24, of Dunkirk, NY, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney’s Trini E. Ross and Stephanie O. Lamarque, who are handling the case, stated that between February 2016 and October 2016, the defendant worked with co-defendants Sergiy Bezrukov and Mark Farnham at companies with various names such as “Corporate Restructure,” and “Salamanca Payroll Services.” Walker was the Chief of Security for Corporate Restructure, Inc., which operated out of office space in Salamanca, NY and Buffalo NY. The defendant had an office at the Salamanca location and was responsible for conducting employees’ background checks, electronic inventory and monitoring the security cameras in the facility.

Walker, Bezrukov and Farnham, along with others, used a number of fraudulent companies to mail solicitations to small business owners (Victims) which fraudulently informed the Victims that one or more of the fraudulent companies could assist the Victims with restructuring debts they had with other lenders.

Between the summer of 2016 until October 27, 2016, the defendant:

• opened multiple bank accounts at a number of banks, including Citizens Bank, Bank of America, Northwest Savings Bank and First Niagara Bank;
• made daily deposits into the bank accounts opened at the aforementioned banks;
• made daily withdrawals from the bank accounts at the aforementioned banks;
• opened post office boxes which were used to receive Victims mail and to use as the return addresses on solicitation letters; and
• took calls from Victims who were upset and had questions about their “loan restructure.”

When talking with Victims over the telephone, the defendant used aliases and provided the Victims with information that was not true or accurate about the status of the purported loan restructure. Walker continued to deposit Victims monies into the account of a shell company that never provided any services withdrew the deposited money from such account.         

Charges are pending against Sergiy Bezrukov and Mark Farnham. 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.  
The plea is the result of an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector-in-Charge Shelly Binkowski of the Boston Division; the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations Division, under the direction of James D. Robnett, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Office; and Special Agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly.

Sentencing is scheduled for February 2, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. before Judge Vilardo. 

Updated November 2, 2017