BUFFALO-A Dunkirk man recently pleaded guilty in Federal Court to conspiracy to commit bank fraud according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Dustin Walker, 24, faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Walker reportedly worked with co-defendants Sergiy Bezrukov and Mark Farnham at companies with various names like “Corporate Restructure” and “Salamanca Payroll Services” between February and October 2016.
Walker was the Chief of Security for Corporate Restructure, Inc., which operated out of office spaces in both Salamanca and Buffalo. Walker’s office was in Salamanca, and was responsible for conducting employees’ background checks, electronic inventory and monitoring the security cameras in facility per the U.S. Attorney.
All three men, along with others, reportedly 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, Walker reportedly:
- 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, Walker 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.