A Philadelphia man will serve at least a year in prison for passing bad checks to purchase $7,500 worth of Bulldog puppies in Lancaster County.
Jamal Bates gave a 93-year-old man three checks – with phony account numbers – during a February 2014 sale at a Pennsylvania Turnpike exit in Rapho Township.
Bates, 42, was sentenced this week in Lancaster County Court to 1 to 2 years in prison, to be followed by a year of probation. County Judge Howard Knisely also ordered that Bates pay $7,500 in restitution to the seller.
Bates contacted the elderly man in response to a newspaper ad for the English Bulldog puppies. Using the alias “Paul Brown,” Bates set up the purchase and signed cashier’s checks with that name.
The puppies are believed to have been re-sold.
After a bank informed the seller the checks were invalid, police performed fingerprint analysis which led to Bates.
Bates has prior convictions of identity theft and access device fraud.
Assistant District Attorney Kevin McGarry prosecuted the case.
Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Todd McCurdy filed charges.
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