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Aide to assistant speaker of NYS Assembly arrested in theft

An aide and one-time chief of staff to New York State Assembly Assistant Speaker Felix Ortiz was arrested Thursday on a wire fraud charge, accused of diverting $80,000 from campaign contributions for his personal use.

Maruf “Mitu” Alam, 29, of Brooklyn, was released on $100,000 bail after an appearance in Brooklyn federal court, where he was charged in a criminal complaint with stealing the money in cash from a campaign account between January 2012 and April 2018.

A lawyer for Alam did not respond to a request for comment.

U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said in a release that Alam was “caught red-handed” using Ortiz’s campaign account “as his personal piggy bank.”

William F. Sweeney Jr., head of New York City’s FBI office, said 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.”

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