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Working to extradite in cross-border scam

WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond
US Attorney William Hochul announcing cross-border scam

While Canada may seem very close to commuters on the Niagara Section of the Thruway, it's nowhere near as close when the legal system wants to bring someone from Canada to stand trial in the U.S.

When federal officials announced on Tuesday they had broken a cross-border scam which cost 2,000 Americans millions of dollars they said 23 of those indicted living in the Metro Toronto area would have to be extradited to stand trial.

It's now 22 since one of them tried to cross from Ontario into Michigan Wednesday and border officers found a warrant in the computer system from this case and arrested her.

It's more complicated for those who are still in Ontario, as U.S.  Attorney William Hochul explains since his office has been trying to extradite alleged fraudster Michael Wilson for two-years and he's still in Canada.

Hochul said he used to work with Justice Department officials on extraditions and knows the process.

"The process is not unusual for us.   We certainly began the process for the Doctor Galea case for one example. He was a Canadian doctor.   There's another case we have ongoing involving Mr. Wilson, another indicted case here.   So it does happen i would say perhaps one or two a year," said Hochul.

Hochul said here are lawyers in the Justice Department's Office of International Affairs who specialize in extraditions from Canada.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.