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Former Utica mayor guilty on mail fraud charges

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  • Staff Report 

Louis LaPolla, former mayor of Utica, New York, pleaded guilty to mail fraud charges for misusing nearly $40,000 in donations intended for a scholarship fund named after his late wife. The plea was entered today in federal court in Syracuse, as announced by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and FBI Special Agent Craig L. Tremaroli.

LaPolla admitted to setting up the fund to support Utica City School District students pursuing health-related post-secondary education. However, he confessed to spending the donations on personal expenses instead of the intended scholarship fund. LaPolla’s tenure as mayor spanned from 1984 to 1995, and he recently served as President of the Utica City School Board.

Scheduled for sentencing on September 10, 2024, LaPolla faces up to 20 years in prison, a $1.5 million fine, and is ordered to pay $38,616 in restitution. This case follows a previous guilty plea for using school district resources to mail fundraising materials, which resulted in a sentence of 60 days of house arrest.

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