BUFFALO, N.Y.- 32 year old Leslie Ralston will come before Judge Kenneth Case Thursday morning, facing a maximum penalty of 2-1/3 to 7 years in prison. Tuesday he pleaded guilty to grand larceny for bilking an 85 year old Snyder woman out of more than $18,000 between December, 2011 and January 2012.
Ralston approached the woman under the guise of performing home improvements. He told her that it appeared that she had squirrel damage to her roof. He pretended to make repairs, but none were ever performed, because none were ever needed.
District Attorney Frank Sedita says that this type of scam is something for which the Ralston family has become infamous. Leslie's older brother Joseph, who is now in prison, has a record including 25 arrests. Their father, James Ralston has 25 convictions including 21 felonies.
The running theme, according to prosecutors has been their targets, mainly elderly people who do not have a lot of family in the area. Sedita says they would use the Haines Directory to target their victims.
Now James "Jimmy" Ralston will be familiar to a lot of Western New Yorkers for another record, like his son, the elder Ralston was a promising prize fighter. In fact, Ralston racked up a 19-1-1 record with 13 knockouts as a pro. His criminal record began piling up soon after his boxing career ended in the early 70's.
In recent years though, according to friends, Jimmy Ralston had cleaned up his act and attempted to turn his life around. He had refocused on boxing and training young fighters, including his son. His criminal record reflects that new life direction.
2 On Your Side reached out to the Ralstons for comment, but we were told that Jimmy and his wife were too distraught over their son's troubles to talk.