NY AG recoups $57K in funds previously pocketed by former City Councilman Adam McFadden

Local News

(News 8 WROC file photo)

NEW YORK CITY (WROC) — New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced Monday that her office has recouped tens of thousands of dollars in funds for children’s programs, previously pocketed by former Rochester City Councilman Adam McFadden.

Officials from the Attorney General’s Office say more than $57,000 in state and taxpayer funds were pocketed or otherwise misallocated, reported by a former program director at the Rochester Area Community Foundation Initiatives, Inc. (RACFI). Officials say McFadden, who is also a former executive director of the RACFI’s Quad A Kids program, diverted funds from state grants for his personal use that did not quality for state funding.

MORE | Former Councilman McFadden pocketed cash from city children’s program

“Adam McFadden abused the public trust and the office he held by misusing state and taxpayer funds intended for children’s after-school enrichment programs,” Attorney General James said in a press release. “Any organization that accepts taxpayer dollars has a responsibility to account for those funds and ensure they serve the public good, not allow one individual to personally benefit from those funds. RACFI’s prompt and active steps to identify and correct the misconduct and scandal surrounding this incident, and immediately report the misuse to my office are to be commended. Mr. McFadden’s behavior should never be tolerated, which is why I will continue to fight for the effective and corruption-free use of state money to benefit New York’s children and other vitally important causes.”

In February 2019, McFadden was arrested and faced federal charges wire fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy.for his role in a scheme to defraud the Rochester Housing Authority.

In April of 2019, McFadden pleaded guilty — prosecutors say he could face up to 20 years behind bars, but may face less under the plea. 

According to the Attorney General’s office:

“RACFI’s investigation confirmed that McFadden diverted $57,598 of the nonprofit’s program funds as an executive director of one of its programs, the vast majority of which he pocketed for personal use. Those funds included state grant money — specifically the Advantage After School Program grant funds — which were intended to fund quality after-school programs for local children. 

“In light of RACFI’s prompt self-disclosure of the misconduct, and good faith efforts to investigate and correct it, the OAG has accepted a repayment of $57,598, without penalties. The funds will be returned to the Office of Children and Family Services — the source of the grants.”

After his arrest, McFadden said he would not run for re-election to the Rochester City Council. He has served the council since 2003. As a result of his guilty plea, McFadden was removed from office.

McFadden is due to be sentenced December 9th. Upon sentencing, McFadden will pay $300. Additionally, federal court paperwork indicates McFadden must pay restitution to Rochester House Charities $87,500, plus $46,865 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and an additional $131,163 to Quad A for Kids.

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