NEW CITY – Former bus company owner Richard Brega, 49, of Tomkins Cove was indicted by a Rockland County grand jury for allegedly steering thousands of dollars in political contributions to the 2013 primary election campaign of an incumbent county legislator seeking the office of county executive.
Brega, whose company had contracts with the county to provide bus service, was charged with 10 counts of falsifying business records as felonies.
He was arrested by detectives from District Attorney Thomas Zugibe’s office. The arrest is the culmination of a joint investigation by the Public Corruption Task Force and the state Board of Elections Law Enforcement.
According to the indictment, between April 2013 and August 2013, Brega use straw donors to unlawfully funnel more than $40,000 in cash to the county executive campaign of Legislator Ilan Schoenberger of the Town of Ramapo.
Brega is accused of recruiting 10 people to contribute thousands of dollars each to the “Friends of Ilan Schoenberger” campaign fund. According to the charges, he provided the straw donors with contribution amounts in cash. The 10 individuals included employees of Brega’s company, Brega Transportation, as well as his own family members and friends.
The campaign contribution limit for an individual donating the Schoenberger in 2013 was $9,221. The straw donations reported by his campaign to the state Board of Elections as individual contributions of the 10 straw donors.
“Hiding the true source of campaign donations from election officials and the public fundamentally impacts the transparency of our democratic system of governance,” said Zugibe. “Working closely with the Public Corruption Task Force, my office will continue to uncover illicit schemes that evade campaign finance laws and prosecute those who seek to facilitate illegal political contributions.”
If convicted, Brega faces up to four years in state prison.