Man Admits to taking $500,000 from Buffalo Clergyman

October 30, 2012 Updated Oct 30, 2012 at 3:27 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Man Admits to taking $500,000 from Buffalo Clergyman

October 30, 2012 Updated Oct 30, 2012 at 3:27 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) A Buffalo man could face up to 7 years in prison, after admitting in court to stealing $500,000 from a local clergyman.

Richard Kesick, 57, pleaded guilty in Erie County Court to 3rd Degree Grand Larceny on Tuesday. Kesick claimed that from June 2001 through July 2012, he led a 91-year-old cleric through a series of scams.

Those lies included asking for money to pay a ransom note, make bail, pay medical expenses for a stab wound, and other "emergency expenses." To back up his stories, Kesick says he pretended to be a judge from Tenesee and an insurance company representative in phone conversations.

Kesick had used these characters to make his victim believe funds would be repaid. However, the money was spent on gambling and to "otherwise finance Kesick's lifestyle," according to District Attorney Frank Sedita.

Town of Tonawanda Police Lieutenant William Krier and Financial Elder Abuse prosecutor Candace Vogel both played integral roles in Kesick's prosecution, leading to his guilty plea. He will be sentenced on December 12 at 9:30 a.m. in Erie County Court. He faces a maximum prison sentence of 7 years.

District Attorney Sedita called Kesick "an especially loathsome and despicable swindler."