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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 30, 2020

Liverpool Man Pleads Guilty To Robbing Banks In Brighton And Buffalo, And Attempting To Rob A Third Bank In Niagara Falls

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Michael Tyo, 32, of Liverpool, NY, pleaded guilty to two counts of bank robbery and one count of attempted bank robbery, before U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Katelyn M. Hartford, who is handling the case, stated that over the course of four days in August 2019, Tyo robbed a bank in Brighton, New York; a bank in Buffalo, New York; and attempted to rob a third bank in Niagara Falls, New York. 

On August 24, 2019, Tyo robbed the Citizens Bank inside the Tops Market on South Clinton Avenue in Brighton. The defendant gave the bank teller a detailed note that said, “if I even glimpse a dye-pack I will not hesitate to elevate the situation and you will be the first casualty.” Another part of the note stated, “If I happen to get caught because of you, when I get out of prison, I will systematically destroy you and the people you love the most.” The bank teller complied with the defendant’s demands and gave him U.S. currency, which Tyo took and fled the bank.

On August 27, 2019, Tyo robbed a second Citizens Bank inside the Tops Market on South Park Avenue in Buffalo. He gave the bank teller a note demanding $50 and $100 bills.

The defendant threatened the use of violence, stating in the note that he would use his gun if the teller did not cooperate. The teller complied and gave the defendant U.S. currency, which he took and fled the bank.

Also on August 27, 2019, Tyo attempted to rob a third bank, the Key Bank on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Niagara Falls. However, when he gave the teller a demand note, the teller said that they were dealing with a computer issue, and Tyo did not succeed in obtaining any money.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Brighton Police Department, under the direction of Chief Dave Catholdi, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 15, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. before Judge Larimer.

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated July 30, 2020