ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- A former Rockland bus company operator was charged Monday with funneling campaign money into the coffers of a Rockland County legislator seeking the office of county executive during the 2013 election, according to Rockland County District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe.
Richard Brega, 50, of Tomkins Cove, was charged with 10 counts of falsifying business records following a joint investigation by the Public Corruption Task Force and the New York State Board of Elections Division of Election Law Enforcement, Zugibe said.
“Hiding the true source of campaign donations from election officials and the public fundamentally impacts the transparency of our democratic system of governance,” said Zugibe “Working closely with the Public Corruption Task Force, my office will continue to uncover illicit schemes that evade campaign finance laws and prosecute those who seek to facilitate illegal political contributions.”
According to the indictment, between April 2013 and August 2013, Brega used straw donors (illegally using another person’s name) to funnel more than $40,000 in cash to the county executive campaign of Town of Ramapo Legislator Ilan Schoenberger.
Brega is accused of recruiting 10 individuals to contribute thousands of dollars each to the “Friends of Ilan Schoenberger” campaign fund. According to the charges, Brega provided the "straw donors" the contributions in cash, Zugibe said.
The 10 people included employees of Brega's company, Brega Transportation, as well as the defendant's family members and friends, he added.
The campaign contribution limit for an individual donating to Schoenberger's campaign in 2013 was $9,221.
If found guilty, he faces a maximum of four years in state prison.
Brega is also accused in another case of working with a former Rockland County BOCES official in a scheme to charge the county for school bus repairs that never happened
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