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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 10, 2020

Rochester Man Guilty Of Defrauding Holiday Inn

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Henry Williams, 55, of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Chief Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. to wire fraud. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Field, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant was on supervised release following a 2016 conviction for bank fraud in the Western District of New York, when he began working at the front desk of the Holiday Inn. In January 2020, Williams began using the hotel’s Point of Sale machine fraudulently to load and attempt to load hundreds of thousands of dollars onto credit/debit cards that he controlled. The defendant impersonated various hotel managers while making phone calls to the hotel’s card payment processor in furtherance of his scheme. Williams also attempted to cover his tracks and conceal his involvement in the fraud by impersonating a hotel employee and making false complaints of criminal activity by another hotel employee. 

The defendant successfully stole approximately $4,871.58 in fraudulent refunds. He also attempted over a period of time to obtain more than $840,000 in additional fraudulent refunds.

The plea is the result of an investigation by Special Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia, and the U.S. Probation Department, under the direction of Chief Probation Officer Anthony SanGiacomo.

Sentencing is scheduled for December 4, 2020, at 1:30 p.m. before Judge Geraci.

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated September 10, 2020