A former mayor of Dunkirk, New York pleaded guilty today to engaging in a scheme to defraud his mayoral campaign and supporters by stealing campaign contributions for his personal benefit, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division and Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. of the Western District of New York.
Richard L. Frey, 85, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara of the Western District of New York. Sentencing is scheduled for May 11, 2017. According to admissions made in connection with his plea, from at least January 2003 through June 2012, Frey solicited and received several large campaign contributions from a number of area businesses and businesspeople and then, instead of depositing the donations into his campaign accounts, either cashed the checks for his personal use or deposited the checks into his personal bank accounts. Frey admitted that he concealed the existence of these larger campaign contributions by not reporting or disclosing them on his campaign disclosure reports, as was required of local candidates for public office.
FBI’s Buffalo Field Office and the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General investigated the case. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Rogowski and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Fabian of the Western District of New York and Trial Attorney Edward P. Sullivan of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case.