Ex-mayor Frey avoids jail time, must make restitution

Former Dunkirk Mayor Richard Frey faces six months home detention and restitution.

BUFFALO — Former Dunkirk Mayor Richard Frey was spared jail time, but faces six months home detention after sentencing today in U.S. Federal Court.

Additionally, Frey must pay restitution of $54,000.

While noting the sentencing, the judge said Frey’s military service in Korea weighed heavily on his decision.

During proceedings today, it was revealed Frey spent the money while gambling at a casino in the region. His attorney, Cheryl Meyers-Buth, said the gambling was to escape his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from the war.

Frey pleaded guilty to wire fraud in January. From January 2003 to June 2012, he devised and executed a scheme to defraud the co-owners of the Clarion Hotel, Marina & Conference Center and the owner of Fieldbrook Foods by inducing them to make contributions to his mayoral and other political campaigns, prosecutors say.

After receiving checks from these individuals, Frey, rather than depositing the funds into a campaign or official account, spent them for his own personal benefit. Prosecutors say the contributions totaled $54,361.30.

In addition, Frey failed to report or disclose the contributions on his campaign disclosure reports, which is required of local candidates for public office.

Frey was Dunkirk mayor for 10 years, serving from 2003 to 2012.