Ralph Signoracci, IV, former campaign treasurer to Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse, pleaded guilty on Thursday in U.S. District Court to one charge of conspiring to commit wire fraud.
Signoracci, while a member of the City of Cohoes Common Council and then an Albany County Legislator, served as treasurer of a political committee called “Friends of Shawn Morse.” He also served as treasurer of the political action committee “The Chairman’s PAC.”
In his guilty plea, Signoracci said he solicited and received contributions to the PACs, then withdrew money from them for Morse to use for his own personal expenses including vacations, entertainment, dining and home repairs. Signoracci said he did so at Morse’s direction. Signoracci also said he illegally used contributions made the The Chairman’s PAC to directly benefit Morse’s 2015 mayoral campaign.
Signoracci also admitted to concealing the nature of those expenditures on Morse’s behalf by falsely reporting, or by not reporting or disclosing the spending, on campaign disclosure reports.
In pleading guilty to one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud, Signoracci faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 when he is sentenced.
Meanwhile, Shawn Morse has already pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, five counts of wire fraud, and one count of making a false statement to the FBI.