A.G. Schneiderman And Comptroller Dinapoli Announce Guilty Plea Of Former NYC Council Member Ruben Wills

News from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 14, 2017

Attorney General’s Press Office / 212-416-8060
nyag.pressoffice@ag.ny.gov
Twitter: @AGSchneiderman

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN AND COMPTROLLER DiNAPOLI ANNOUNCE GUILTY PLEA OF FORMER NYC COUNCIL MEMBER RUBEN WILLS

Wills Pleads Guilty To Filing False Disclosure With NYC Conflicts Of Interest Board

Today’s Guilty Plea Follows Wills’ Felony Convictions This Summer For Stealing Public Funds; Wills Is Serving Two To Six Years In Prison

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced the guilty plea today of former New York City Councilman Ruben Wills. Wills pleaded guilty to one count of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor. Pursuant to his plea agreement, Wills admitted he knowingly filed a false annual financial disclosure report with the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board by intentionally failing to disclose personal loans made to him on his 2012 Financial Disclosure Report, as required by law.

In July, a Queens County jury found Wills guilty of five felony counts related to his theft of public funds from both the New York State Office of Children and Family Services and the New York City Campaign Finance Board, following public corruption charges brought by Attorney General Schneiderman. Subsequently, Wills was expelled from the New York City Council and sentenced to two to six years in prison (which he is currently serving), as well as a $5,000 fine and more than $30,000 in restitution.

“New Yorkers trust that their elected officials will serve with integrity. Again and again, Ruben Wills violated that trust – stealing taxpayer dollars to line his own pockets and filing false documents to hide his financial dealings. He’s now in prison, paying the price,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “No public servant is above the law, and we’ll continue to root out and prosecute public corruption across New York.”

"Mr. Wills was elected to serve the public. Instead, he repeatedly broke the law by stealing public funds and, in this case, filed false disclosure forms to conceal his financial dealings," said Comptroller DiNapoli. "Thanks to our Operation Integrity partnership with Attorney General Schneiderman, Mr. Wills was convicted and is serving prison time."

Since 2011, Attorney General Schneiderman, through his “Operation Integrity” partnership with Comptroller DiNapoli, has brought charges against dozens of individuals implicated in public corruption schemes around the state – resulting in the return of over $11 million in restitution to taxpayers through these convictions. 

Assistant Attorneys General John Chiara and Travis Hill of the Public Integrity Bureau prosecuted the case, with assistance from Legal Support Analyst Dillon Kraus and former Legal Support Analyst Mollie Krent. The Public Integrity Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Daniel G. Cort and Deputy Bureau Chief Stacy Aronowitz. The Criminal Division is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Margaret Garnett. The Attorney General’s investigation was conducted by Investigator Angel LaPorte and Gerald Matheson under the supervision of Deputy Chief John McManus. The Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Dominick Zarrella.

The Comptroller’s investigation was led by his Division of Investigations.

Groups audience: