Brooklyn Man Charged with Stealing More than $80,000 from New York State Assemblyman’s Campaign Account
Defendant Allegedly Filed False Campaign Disclosure Reports to Conceal His Thefts
A criminal complaint was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Maruf Alam with wire fraud in connection with his theft of more than $80,000 in campaign contributions from a New York State Assemblyman’s campaign account. Alam was arrested this morning, made his initial appearance this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara, and was released on a $100,000 bond.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the charges.
“As alleged, Alam was caught red-handed using a New York State Assemblyman’s campaign account as his personal piggy bank,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “Alam betrayed the trust placed in him to act honestly as the treasurer for the account, and then attempted to cover up his crime by filing false disclosure reports for years. Today’s arrest makes clear that dishonest public employees will face the consequences of their crimes and be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” Mr. Donoghue extended his grateful appreciation to the enforcement staff at the New York State Board of Elections (NYSBOE) for their assistance during the investigation.
“As alleged, Alam violated the trust of an elected New York State Assemblyman by brazenly diverting more than $80,000 in campaign contributions to his own personal accounts,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “Alam went to great lengths to conceal his fraud, including traveling to China to illicitly withdraw funds from a campaign account and then filing false disclosure reports with the New York State Board of Elections. Today’s action should serve as a reminder that the FBI will continue to bring to justice those who aim to exploit positions of public trust to satisfy their selfish greed.”
According to the complaint, since 2008 Alam was employed in various capacities, including chief of staff, for a New York State Assemblyman. Alam also acted on a voluntary basis as the treasurer for the Assemblyman’s campaign account, and was responsible for filing periodic disclosure reports with the NYSBOE to disclose contributions received and expenditures made by the Assemblyman’s campaign committee. From approximately January 2012 to January 2019, Alam allegedly stole campaign funds that had been contributed to support the candidacy of the Assemblyman, and deposited the cash into his personal account. For example, campaign account records disclose that on November 9, 2015 and November 13, 2015, two ATM withdrawals from the campaign account were made at two locations in China. Travel records reflect that Alam traveled to China on November 5, 2015, and returned to the United States on November 19, 2015. In total, during the relevant time period, the Assemblyman’s campaign account records reflect approximately $80,000 in cash withdrawals by Alam that were not reported to NYSBOE.
The charges in the complaint are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Alam faces a statutory maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Public Integrity Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Nathan Reilly and Maria Cruz Melendez are in charge of the prosecution
Brooklyn, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 19-MJ-710