Former Mayor of Utica Admits to Committing Mail Fraud, Stealing Scholarship Donations

People walk past the Criminal Courts building and District Attorneys office in Manhattan,w
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Former Utica Mayor Louis LaPolla admitted to committing mail fraud and stealing donations meant for a scholarship that he had established.

LaPolla, who served as the mayor for the city of Utica in New York between 1984 and 1995, pled guilty on Friday to “mail fraud for soliciting and then stealing donations” that were meant to go toward a “scholarship fund named after his late wife, Andrea LaPolla, according to a statement from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York.

The former mayor admitted he had received almost $40,000 in donations for a scholarship that he had set up in his late wife’s name after she had passed away, according to the statement.

Out of the donations LaPolla had received from several individuals and businesses, he admitted that he had “spent nearly all the donated money on himself” rather than putting it toward the scholarship as he had intended.

If found guilty, LaPolla could face a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison, along with a fine of up to $1.5 million, and face the possibility of supervised release for up to three years.

“The defendant will also be required to pay restitution in the amount of $38,616,” the statement added.

LaPolla is set for sentencing on September 10.

In February, LaPolla pled guilty to petit larceny charges and reportedly took a plea deal, under which he would serve 60 days in home restrictions, serve a three-year probation, and pay $3,100 in restitution, according to the Utica Observer-Dispatch.


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