Former City Council candidate Albert Alvarez was charged with stealing at least $4,500 in public matching funds for his campaign by using illegal donors, officials said Thursday.
Alvarez, who worked as chief of staff for former Councilman Joel Rivera, ran unsuccessfully in 2013 for Rivera’s 15th district seat in the Bronx.
The alleged fraud was uncovered after an investigation by the offices of state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and the city’s Department of Investigation.
Alvarez allegedly used contribution cards from the straw donors, and falsely submitted them to the New York City Campaign Finance Board, officials said.
“New York City’s public financing system is not a piggy bank for criminals,” said Schneiderman.
Alvarez is facing charges of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and third-degree grand larceny.
Alvarez’s lawyer could not be immediately reached for comment.