Former fugitive scam artist arrested again

Published 08/22 2014 08:28PM

Updated 08/22 2014 11:50PM

Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - A new warrant was issued late Friday afternoon for former Fugitive Of Week Jesse Stokes, 53, for grand larceny and scheme to defraud. Stokes was arrested Friday evening, just a few hours later during a traffic stop.

In January, Stokes admitted in court that he scammed a dozen people out of thousands of dollars. Onondaga County Court Judge Anthony Aloi placed Stokes on one year conditional discharge after Stokes paid back the $17,000 he owed his twelve victims. In court, Judge Aloi sternly warned Stokes not to repeat his scams.

Six months later, NewsChannel 9 started receiving phones calls from viewers claiming to have been ripped off by Stokes, having recognized him from previous stories. Several viewers showed us the driveway repair work that Stokes allegedly failed to do after receiving money and a $5,000 shoddy sidewalk repair job.

Syracuse Police launched an investigation and a warrant was issued Friday night for the arrest of Stokes on charges of grand larceny and scheme to defraud.

"We think there is a very good possibility that there are other people out there, that haven't reported this yet," said Syracuse Police Sgt. Tom Connellan. " So if there is anyone who knows of Jesse Stokes doing this to other people, we would really like to hear from them."

Victims we talked with, who asked not to be identified, described Stokes as convincing, "He said he could be trusted. I fell for that. I feel violated." Another victim wanted to send a warning to others, " He's sharp. If he comes to your house, close the door and call the cops."

Anyone with information about Stokes alleged scams or who fell victim is asked to call Syracuse Police at 442-5222.  

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