Steuben County handyman facing multiple fraud charges

Local News

The New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation from the Bath barracks announced the arrest of a man on multiple charges stemming from a string of ongoing theft and fraud reports in the Steuben County area over the course of the last year.

On January 9, 2019, an elderly property owner and landlord arrived at the SP Bath barracks to report the theft of several personal checks. The complainant also reported his signature was forged on the checks which were then cashed at local banks and business at a loss of almost $1,500.00.

The complainant believed a handyman he recently hired to tend to his rental properties, Terence R. Vang, 56 of Bath, New York, was responsible.

The subsequent investigation confirmed Vang knowingly cashed the forged checks but also revealed additional fraud when he used an unauthorized company credit card which belonged to a previous employee.

Investigators determined Vang forged the employee’s name multiple times to purchase dinners and drinks at area restaurants which totaled over $760.00.

Vang was arrested on January 15, 2019, and charged by the New York State Police with FIVE counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the 2nd Degree (all class “D” felonies), one count of Forgery in the 2nd Degree (a class “D” felony), one count of Grand Larceny in the 4th Degree (a class “E” felony), and one count of Petit Larceny (a class “A” misdemeanor).

Vang was then arraigned in the Bath Village Court and remanded to the Steuben County Jail without bail. He was eventually released from jail in April 2019 pending court actions and was subsequently indicted by the Steuben County Grand Jury on six counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the 2nd Degree and 15 counts of Forgery in the 2nd Degree (all class “D” felonies), and two counts of Grand Larceny in the 4th Degree (both class “E” felonies).

Vang was located and arrested in July 2019 on the outstanding Superior Court Warrant and was returned to the Steuben County Jail on $75,000 cash bail or $150,000 bond.

On July 29, 2019, the same elderly property owner returned to the SP Bath barracks to report additional fraud by the same handyman. The complainant reported that Terence Vang, who was already arrested for multiple offenses against the same company and property owner, managed to retain a company credit card to a local retail store without the complainant’s knowledge.

The complainant alleged Vang used the company credit card to purchase over $2,440.00 worth of property, between the time he was released from jail and the time he was arrested on the warrant, while an order of protection was in force.

An investigation confirmed the use of the card by Vang on several dates to purchase goods for his own personal gain.

On August 2, 2019, the investigation into Vang’s use of the credit card led to a home in the town of Bath where several of the fraudulently purchased items were located. The homeowner, who fully cooperated with law enforcement, allowed State Police to search the home for items that were unaccounted for.

During the search, a blank checkbook belonging to a separate elderly local resident was found in the room utilized by Vang prior to his incarceration. The blank checkbook, which contained one completed check made payable to Vang, also contained another a blank check which belonged to yet another local man.

A separate investigation confirmed the checks were stolen and forged, while additional information indicated Vang had access to the homes and personal items of both men whose checks were found in the suspect’s room.

On August 8, 2019, Vang was transported from the custody of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office regarding both new investigations and was additionally charged with one count of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the 2nd Degree (a class “D” felony), one count of Grand Larceny 4th Degree (a class “E” felony), one count of Criminal Contempt 2nd Degree and two counts of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 5th Degree (each class “A” misdemeanors).

Vang was returned to the Steuben County Jail and later appeared before Centralized Arraignment which remanded him to the Sheriff’s custody without bail.

On August 9, 2019, shortly after the suspect was returned to jail, one of the men whose stolen check was found in Vang’s possession arrived at the SP Bath barracks with an additional complaint. The man alleged Vang, who volunteered to repair the complainant’s broken-down vehicle, stole the vehicle’s title and sold it to an area dealership without the complainant’s knowledge.

A new investigation confirmed Vang possessed the stolen title with the forged signature of the complainant and sold the vehicle to the dealership for a total value of $250. Vang was arrested and charged on August 13, 2019, with one count of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the 2nd Degree (a class “D” felony) and one count of Grand Larceny 4th Degree (a class “E” felony).

Vang appeared later the same day in Centralized Arraignment and was remanded to the custody of the Steuben County Sheriff without bail.

An additional investigation is ongoing in which a fourth complainant, the homeowner Vang previously resided with, alleged Vang took property from inside the home and sold it to a neighbor without permission and additional charges are pending.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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