Man who posed as African immigrant to swindle woman out of $2K convicted by jury
Yusuf A. Hassem aka Louis L. Reed, 69, came to town in April nattily dressed in a gray wool suit and tan overcoat. He will leave Batavia in shackles.
Following a three-day jury trial, Hassem was convicted today of grand larceny 4th.
Hassem posed as a recent African immigrant who needed help with a transaction at Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union. He managed to switch envelopes with a woman, stealing $2,000 cash from her.
Soon after the theft, the Batavia Police sent out a picture of Hassem to local media. The release of the bank surveillance camera photo soon led to Hassem's arrest in Buffalo.
Hassem, who began his career in crime in 1957, according to District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, faces similar charges in Albany and Schenectady. Officials from one of those jurisdictions will likely pick him up at Genesee County Jail following his March 17 sentencing.
"He has a very extensive criminal history for this type of thing and others," Friedman said. "That's unusual right there. I mean, we have a 69-year-old defendant who has been in the system for 53 years."
Judge Robert C. Noonan will have a couple of options in sentencing Hassem to state prison. Now classified as a second-felony offender, he will get either one-and-a-third- to three-years or a term of two to four years in the penetentiary.