Former Dunkirk Mayor sentenced, used $54K in campaign contributions for personal benefit

Posted at 4:29 PM, May 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-16 16:29:49-04

The former mayor of Dunkirk has been sentenced to six months home confinement after using campaign contributions for his own personal benefit.

Former Mayor Richard Frey, 85, was convicted of wire fraud in a scheme to defraud his mayoral campaign and his supporters by stealing campaign contributions, according to Acting U.S. Attorney James Kennedy. He was the Mayor of Dunkirk from January 2002 until January 2012.

In addition to his six months of home confinement, Frey was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $54,361.30, according to officials.

According to authorities, Frey devised and executed a plan to defraud contributors to his mayoral and other political campaigns. The scheme involved co-owners of a hospitality company that owned a hotel and the owner of a food production company, both in Dunkirk.

Instead of depositing the checks - totaling $54,361.30 - he got from these individuals into a campaign account, Frey spent them for his own personal benefit, according to U.S. Attorney Kennedy. In addition, Frey did not report these contributions on his campaign disclosure reports, which is required of local candidates for public office.