Law and Politics, New York

Assemblyman William Scarborough convicted of Fraud

September 21, 2015
By Stephanie West

New York, NY – New York State Assemblyman William Scarborough, 69, of Queens, New York, was sentenced to 13 months in prison and two years of supervised release after being convicted of wire fraud and theft. Scarborough pleaded guilty on May 7, 2015. The court agreement required him to resign his position as a member of the New York State Assembly and face prison time.

“Public service is a commitment, not a means for self-enrichment,” said State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.  “Mr. Scarborough betrayed his oath of office. This case serves as a reminder:  we are on the job, we are working together, and we will hold you accountable.”Scarborough’s federal convictions relate to his wrongful receipt of per diem payments from New York State.

 Assembly members receive per diem payments when they spend time in, and travel to and from, Albany.  Scarborough falsely claimed, and received, per diem payments for days that he was not in Albany or in transit to or from the city.U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian said: “It is a sad day when an elected official is sentenced to imprisonment, but it is a serious crime when such an official steals the state funds he is sworn to safeguard.

Former Assemblyman Scarborough betrayed the people’s trust when he repeatedly lied about when he had been in Albany to line his pockets. We hope that this prosecution helps bring an end to abuses of the state legislature’s per diem system

From January 2009 through December 2012, Scarborough submitted 174 fraudulent travel vouchers to the assembly’s Finance Department, causing the State of New York to pay him $54,355 that he was not entitled to receive.  In the fraudulent vouchers, Scarborough falsely certified that he had been in Albany for legislative business on specific days when he had not been in Albany at all, had been in Albany for less time than he claimed on a voucher, or had not stayed in Albany overnight.

“The sentencing of Assemblymember Scarborough on public corruption charges sends a clear  message  that  those  who  abuse  the  public  trust  will  be  held  accountable,”  said  State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “Assemblymember Scarborough’s jail sentence resolves one unfortunate chapter in New York State government, but crystallizes the need for comprehensive reform to clean up corruption in our state.”

September 20, 2015

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