On Monday, it was announced that a former Las Vegas City Councilman had pleaded guilty to orchestrating a scheme to steal tens of thousands of dollars from his reelection campaign. 46-year-old Ricki Barlow of Las Vegas, Nevada pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud. The defendant is now scheduled to be sentenced on May 31, 2018.
Admissions made in relation to the guilty plea show that Barlow ran for reelection to the Las Vegas City Council in 2015. The defendant solicited donations from members of the Las Vegas community to support his campaign, Ricki Barlow for City Council. While the campaign treasurer managed the campaign’s finances through a bank account independent of Barlow, Barlow maintained ultimate authority over the campaign funds’ spending.
He admitted to orchestrating a kickback scheme, in which he hired friends and associates to work as campaign vendors. Then, inflated invoices were submitted and the vendors kicked back approximately half of the campaign paychecks to the defendant. Barlow ultimately admitted to diverting $49,125 in campaign funds for his own personal use through the kickback scheme.
The defendant also admitted to accepting an additional $17,000 in cash campaign contributions, which were never reported to the campaign treasurer or transmitted to the campaign. Instead, the money was used for Barlow’s own personal use. The defendant also admitted to causing his campaign to submit false finance reports to the Nevada Secretary of State in hopes of concealing the scheme.
Additional details have been made available here.