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Justice News

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

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Former Funeral Home Owner Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud


         ROCHESTER, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Serrell Gayton, 55, of Rochester, N.Y., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa, to bank fraud. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000 or both.

            Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa J. Miller, who is handling the case, stated that between December 15, 2011 and January 4, 2012, the defendant prepared false and fraudulent checks.  As part of the scheme to defraud, Gayton and an associate deposited checks, made payable to the defendant’s business, Serenity Hills Funeral Chapel Inc., at Citizens Bank branches in Rochester. Checks totaling more than $17,000 were attempted to be deposited by the defendant and his associate, resulting in a loss to Citizens Bank of approximately $3,800.

The plea was the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the United States Secret Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Tracy Gast.

            Sentencing is scheduled for December 13, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. before Judge Siragusa.




Updated December 3, 2014