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Massena man indicted on forgery charges

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MASSENA — A Massena man accused of forging a $362 check was indicted Thursday by a St. Lawrence County grand jury.

Thomas J. Burnor, 29, of 15 Spruce St., Apt. C, was indicted for second-degree forgery and second-degree possession of a forged instrument.

Burnor is accused of stealing a check belonging to Becky Good, for whom he worked, and cashing it at SeaComm Federal Credit Union on Dec. 14.

Village police had charged Burnorwith two counts of second-degree forgery in early January.

Burnor wascharged with stealing three checks from a checkbook belonging to Becky Good when he was working at her Prospect Avenue residence on Dec. 10 or Dec. 11.

He allegedly signed Ms. Good’s name to two of the checks, cashing one for $362 at SeaComm on Dec. 14 and one for $274 at the Woodforest Bank located at Walmart on Dec. 16.

Burnor, in a statement he signed for police, said he was doing electrical work for Ms. Good on Dec. 14 when he noticed a checkbook in the dining room. He said he ripped the first check he tried to remove from the checkbook and then removed two other checks.

He acknowledged he had been home when police had attempted to locate him on Dec. 18. He said he had been hiding in the bathroom, but told his wife to tell the officer he wasn’t home. He said he wasn’t aware of the crime he had committed and said he was turning himself in on the forgery charges because he didn’t want his wife to get in trouble for lying to the police.

Potsdam Village Police had charged Burnor, then listing a Potsdam address, with fourth-degree grand larceny in June 2011 following a lengthy investigation into a complaint that a village resident had paid a substantial amount of money to him for work that was not completed.

Burnor had allegedly promised to perform handyman work, including storm window repairs and painting, for the victim. He received payment in advance and then continued to bill and collect additional money from the victim while not completing the work.

Burnor collected $1,287.34 from the victim, who contacted the police when he failed to perform the work and continued to attempt to collect additional money.

St. Lawrence County Public Defender Stephen D. Button will represent Burnor on the charges now pending in county court.

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