ALBANY - A man named in the indictment last week of Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse admitted Thursday to stealing campaign contributions for the mayor's personal benefit, federal prosecutors said.
Ralph V. Signoracci, IV, 44, of Cohoes, pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud. The maximum possible sentence for that crime is 20 years in prison.
Signoracci, who served as a Cohoes council member and county legislator, also served as treasurer of Morse's political committee called "Friends of Shawn Morse" and also treasure of the political action committee "The Chairman's PAC," prosecutors said.
Signoracci admitted that he and Morse solicited and received contributions and that Signoracci, at Morse's direction, withdrew funds from the committees' bank accounts so Morse could use the funds on personal expenses. Those expenses included vacations, entertaining and home repairs, prosecutors said.
He also admitted he illegally used PAC contributions to directly benefit Morse's 2015 mayoral campaign. Her then concealed the nature of the illegal expenditures through false reports, prosecutors said.
Morse was indicted last week on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, five counts of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement to the FBI. Signoracci was named in Morse's indictment, though not as a defendant. Morse has pleaded not guilty.
- Schenectady's Mohawk Auto Center, with Jerry Springer in tow, celebrates centennial, March 7, 2019
- Union College mishandled student's rape complaint, lawsuit alleges, March 7, 2019
- As two face charges in Clifton Park teen's death, the victim's family speaks, March 7, 2019