NEW YORK, June 15 (UPI) -- A Republican consultant has been charged with stealing $1.1 million from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's campaign last year, court records show.
Manhattaan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said the consultant, John F. Haggerty, 41, spent $32,000 on Bloomberg's behalf but kept approximately $750,000 for himself and gave $450,000 to the Independence Party, The New York Times reported Monday.
Haggerty spend around $600,000 on a house, writing phony checks from Special Election Operations, L.L.C., a firm he set up to execute the spending plan on Bloom's behalf, to cover up the crime, the Times said.
"The defendant's fraud was an audacious scheme to steal funds in order to buy a house, cynically misusing our political party process to hide what is common thievery," Vance said.
Haggerty was charged with first-degree grand larceny -- which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison -- second-degree money laundering and three counts of falsifying business records.
"The mayor filed a statement with the Board of Elections that he would only make campaign expenditures through his campaign committee. But what might have happened here is instead of doing that, he gave personal funds to political parties to make political expenditures for him, and that could be stretching the rules," a lawyer, speaking anonymously, said.
Vance said his office had discovered no criminal misconduct on the part of the mayor or his campaign.