QUEENS, NY (TIP): A young Queens politico who ran for City Council in 2015 was arrested Tuesday, September 6 for faking donations to get 6-for-1 matching taxpayer funds for her losing campaign, authorities said.
A news report published in New York Post says that Celia Dosamantes, 25, allegedly forged 32 contribution cards totaling $3,255, then filed the documents with the Campaign Finance Board in an attempt to get matching funds of nearly $19,530 from the city, officials said.
CFB allegedly caught Dosamantes red-handed during a compliance visit last summer, according to assistant district attorney Nicholas Leddy.
“Forged contribution cards were recovered from a folder defendant attempted to conceal in her lap,” the prosecutor said in Manhattan Supreme Court as Dosamantes sat at the defense table in a pin-striped navy pant suit, her hands cuffed behind her back.
The SUNY grad filed two disclosure statements with the CFB in August 2015, court papers show.
“These fillings included dozens of forged documents that purported to show contributions to her campaign that were never, in fact, made,” Leddy said. “The forged contribution cards appear to have been digitally altered from legitimate contribution cards.”
She’s also charged with submitting a copy of a digitally altered check, officials said.
“All of the donors who appear on the contribution cards and the check at issue in this indictment confirmed that they did not make the donations reflected in those documents,” Leddy said.
She faces 1 ¹/? to 4 years in prison on 35 counts of offering a false instrument and attempted grand larceny.
Justice Michael Sonberg set bail at $15,000, which was promptly posted by bondsman Ira Judelson. Dosamantes previously worked as an aide to Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Queens), who was surprised to hear of her arrest.
“She was a good worker, I had no problem with her,” said Weprin. “You never want to hear something like this.”
Defense lawyer Joseph Corozzo said, “We deny any allegations of criminality in this matter and feel that the evidence will vindicate Miss Dosamantes.”
Celia’s arrest has upset many politicians who are believed to be under investigation for similar offences.