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Mayor faces grand larceny charges for misuse of campaign funds

When someone makes collects money for a particular purpose, but actually uses the money for a different purpose, they may be arrested for larceny, theft or a number of other crimes. Facing criminal charges can be difficult, particularly for those in the public eye. A New York mayor is now facing grand larceny charges after diverting campaign funds for his own personal use.

Richard Thomas, mayor of Mount Vernon, allegedly stole over $12,000 from his inaugural campaign committee to pay off his own credit card debt. The state Attorney General also has accused Thomas of diverting $45,000 from the 2015 Friends of Richard Thomas campaign funds and using the money to pay car insurance, rent for his family home, dinners, and other personal costs. Authorities stated that he may have misclassified various expenditures as necessary expenses to cover his tracks.

Authorities also claim that Thomas may have falsified his 2016 annual financial disclosure form. In addition to grand larceny, Thomas is also facing charges for offering a false instrument for filing.

Thomas has denied the allegations, but if convicted, could face a number of years in prison. Generally, if the stolen property exceeds $1,000, the alleged perpetrator will be charged with grand larceny. For example, if the property exceeds $1,000, it will be classified as a Class E felony and result in one to four years in prison, plus fines. If the property value exceeds $1,000,000, the alleged perpetrator could be looking at up to 25 years in prison. With so much at stake, it may be helpful to have a New York criminal defense attorney evaluate your case and defend you in court.

Source: New York Daily News, "Mount Vernon mayor charged with grand larceny for using campaign cash to pay off credit card debt," Reuven Blau, March 12, 2018

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