Brooklyn Assemblyman’s staffer pleads guilty to embezzling campaign funds

Félix Ortiz staffer Maruf Alam after his arraignment in August.
Photo by Aidan Graham

A high-ranking staffer for Brooklyn Assemblyman Félix Ortiz pled guilty in federal court on Wednesday to stealing more than $80,000 from the legislator’s campaign bank account.

Maruf Alam, 29, entered his guilty plea on Oct. 23, in the Eastern District of New York before Judge Ann Donnelly. He faces up to 20 years behind bars when he is sentenced.

Alam had served in various roles in Ortiz’s office — including chief of staff — from 2008 until he was arrested in August for the wire fraud scheme, according to federal prosecutors.

“Alam was caught with his hand in the till, and now he must face the consequences,” said United States Attorney Richard Donoghue.

Between 2012 and 2019, Alam cut several checks from the campaign to his personal bank account, and filed multiple falsified disclosure forms with the New York State Board of Elections to cover his tracks, prosecutors said.

When his employee was arrested, Ortiz denied any knowledge of Alam’s embezzlement scheme.

The Assemblyman’s office did not immediately respond to request for comment following Wednesday’s guilty plea.

Ortiz was first elected to the Assembly 1994, and currently serves as Assistant Speaker of the state’s lower legislative chamber.

Reach reporter Ben Verde at (718) 260–2525 or by e-mail at bverde@schnepsmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @verde_nyc.

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