Former Rockland County bus firm operator Richard Brega was charged with falsifying enterprise data in reference to funneling hundreds of dollars in marketing campaign donations to elected officers, July 24, 2017 in New Metropolis.
As Richard Brega stored the county’s buses rolling by means of his Valley Cottage-based mostly conglomerate, the 50-yr-previous bus magnate additionally tried turning into a political participant by donating generously to political campaigns, based on paperwork.
A grand jury indictment introduced Monday accused Brega of crossing the authorized line, utilizing 10 “straw donors” to stealthily contribute to the 2013 county government marketing campaign of Legislator Ilan Schoenberger.
Schoenberger, a Ramapo Democrat and longtime lawyer, has not been accused of wrongdoing and says he did not find out about Brega’s alleged contributions.
Brega was charged with falsifying enterprise data in reference to funneling hundreds of dollars in marketing campaign donations via his household, pals and staff, Rockland District Lawyer Thomas Zugibe stated in a news release.
Brega pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of first-degree falsifying business records before Judge David Zuckerman in County Court in New City. His attorney, Kerry Lawrence, a former federal prosecutor, entered the plea.
Brega is accused of providing the “straw donors” with thousands of dollars to donate to the “Friends of Ilan Schoenberger” between April and August 2013, Zugibe said. The individuals included employees of Brega Transportation, as well as his friends and family.
A Journal News review in 2013 indicated Schoenberger received about $48,000 in donations allegedly through Brega employees and associates. The highest contribution for a single individual was $9,221.
Before Monday’s indictment, Brega already faced federal bribery charges accusing him of falsifying documents to show his company, Brega D.O.T. Maintenance Corp., had repaired Rockland BOCES school buses when no work actually was done.
Brega also is accused of bribing former BOCES Transportation Director William Popkave, who has pleaded guilty to federal charges, according to the five-count indictment and U.S. Attorney’s Office news release with the Rockland District Attorney’s Office. Brega has pleaded not guilty to the federal charges.
Schoenberg said Monday that he was unaware of Brega’s alleged actions. He said his campaign followed the law and his campaign filed all donations.
“In every political campaign, there are people who support various candidates for various reasons,” Schoenberger said. “I had a number of people who supported me and contributed to my campaign. Every time I got a campaign contribution, I handled it appropriately, I made sure it ended up in the bank and I reported the donation as requited by law.