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Far Rockaway man pleads guilty to 2017 bank heists

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Leroy Scott, the lookout in a string of bank robberies that occurred in Queens and Nassau counties during the summer and fall of 2017, was the last holdout in a Far Rockaway heist crew to plead guilty to armed bank robbery and weapons possession charges, according to a spokesman from the U.S. Attorney’s of the Eastern District.

Scott, 28, pleaded guilty Oct. 9 to U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert at a federal courthouse in Long Island to helping four others rob a total of over $70,000 from several banks in 2017, according to an indictment.

The lone bank in Queens that was hit by the bank robbers was the Queens County Savings Bank, located at 61-49 188 St. in Fresh Meadows, according to an indictment, which states $50,360 in cash was stolen on Sept. 20, 2017.

According to an indictment, co-conspirators Pedro Benitez and Quincy Hall went inside the bank brandishing firearms demanding money and later fled with the cash in the car of getaway driver Troy Taveras.

Scott was not a participant in the Queens County bank robbery, but admitted to the judge in open court that the crew gave him a cut of the proceeds, according to his testimony during a plea allocution or statement. There was no mention of how much he received.

He was, however, a was involved in the three bank robberies that occurred in Nassau County at Roslyn Savings Bank, Bridgehampton Savings Bank and TD Bank, according to his testimony.

On July 14, 2017, he provided a firearm to one of the fellow co-conspirators who robbed Roslyn Savings of $2,216 in cash, according to the indictment. On Aug. 7, 2017, he acted as a lookout as an undisclosed amount of money was stolen from TD Bank and also kept watch as his crew stole $12,068 in cash from Bridgehampton Savings Bank.

Damilola Saka, another conspirator, was involved in the Roslyn and Bridgehampton bank robberies, and pleaded guilty to armed bank robbery and brandishing a firearm in April, and is awaiting sentencing Oct. 12, according to a spokesman from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Taveras and Hall pleaded guilty earlier this year and are awaiting sentencing, according to the spokesman. Benitez pleaded guilty to armed robbery and brandishing a firearm and was sentenced to 130 months in prison in August.

Taveras faces up to a maximum of 25 years in prison and a minimum of seven years if convicted, according to the spokesman. Scott also faces the same maximum and minimum sentence if convicted.

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

Updated 4:41 pm, October 11, 2018
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