Former Dunkirk Mayor Charged with Wire Fraud for Using Campaign Contributions for His Own Personal Benefit
BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury has returned a 13-count indictment charging former City of Dunkirk Mayor Richard L. Frey, 83, of Dunkirk, NY, with engaging in a scheme to defraud his mayoral campaign and his supporters by stealing campaign contributions for his personal benefit. Frey is charged with 12 counts of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement to the FBI. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Rogowski and Department of Justice Trial Attorney Edward P. Sullivan of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section, who are handling the case, state that according to the indictment, from at least January 2003 through June 2012, Frey solicited and received several large campaign contributions from a number of area businesses and businesspeople. Instead of depositing the donations into his campaign accounts, the defendant either cashed the checks for his personal use or deposited the checks into his personal bank accounts. The indictment further alleges that the defendant 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. It is further alleged that Frey provided false information to the FBI when asked about the scheme.
The indictment is the culmination of an investigation by Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.