October 7, 2014
By Stephanie West
New York, NY – New York State Assemblyman William Scarborough has been arrested and indicted for allegedly stealing campaign funds and falsely collecting travel reimbursements. The 23-count state indictment accuses the Southeast Queens Assemblyman of withdrawing and diverting over $40,000 from the bank account of the “Friends of Bill Scarborough” campaign committee and then using those funds for personal expenses.
The 11-count federal indictment charges Scarborough with improperly claiming “per diem” expenses in excess of $40,000 for travel that didn’t take place. If convicted on all charges, he faces up to 37 years in prison.
“The crimes Mr. Scarborough is accused of committing would represent a shameful breach of the trust his constituents placed in him,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “New Yorkers are repeatedly asked to have faith in our leaders, and every allegation of political corruption shatters that trust. Each time my office arrests a corrupt public official, it sends the message that there must be one set of rules for everyone and no one is above the law, no matter how powerful or well-connected.”
According to documents in connection with the state investigation, Scarborough engaged in a pattern of illegal activity over the last seven years. Bank records obtained as part of the investigation show that between January 2007 and March 2014, Scarborough made numerous withdrawals and transfers from his campaign committee’s account totaling approximately $38,000.
"Elected officials cannot use taxpayer money or campaign funds as their personal piggy banks. Assemblyman Scarborough tried to game the system, thinking he could get away with it,” said New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said.