NYC councilman from Queens found guilty in corruption trial

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RW arrest photo

Queens Councilman Ruben Wills’ arrest photo taken May 7, 2014. (Photo: NY State Attorney General’s Office)

QUEENS — A jury found a city councilman from Queens guilty of five of the six counts against him in his corruption trial Thursday

Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) faces up to seven years behind bars for the theft of about $30,000 in public campaign funds and state grant money, officials said. He will be automatically expelled from the New York City Council.

“Ruben Wills’ crimes were a shameful violation of the public trust,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Now, after a conviction by a jury of his peers, Ruben Wills will face the consequences.”

Wills used  some of the stolen money to buy a $750 Louis Vuitton handbag at Macy’s. He also used the money at Nordstrom and Home Depot.

“Ruben Wills stole taxpayer dollars to buy fancy purses and clothes for himself and his friends,” Schneiderman said. “New Yorkers deserved better.”

The indictment against Wills was unsealed in 2014. At the time, Wills said he was innocent. He said he could not get justice from the state’s Attorney General “because of where I’m from and the color of my skin.”

Wills was convicted Thursday of a scheme to defraud in the 1st degree, two counts of grand larceny in the 3rd degree and two counts of filing a false instrument in the 1st degree.

” Today’s conviction is another important step in our efforts to clean up New York politics and give voters the representation they deserve,” Schneiderman said.