Attorney General Eric Schneiderman: GALOS Inc. and president Carlos Velasquez allegedly stole money from Puerto Rican Day Parade
NEW YORK CITY - The city's Puerto Rican Day Parade will go on as scheduled this year, despite allegations of misuse of funds.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Thursday that some of the parade's money was allegedly stolen by the marketing firm GALOS Inc. and its president, Carlos Velasquez. GALOS Inc. is in charge of fundraising for the parade.
Schneiderman says Velasquez misappropriated and misdirected about $1 million in charitable contributions from the parade.
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He says GALOS Inc. under-reported the amount of contributions from sponsors and pocketed the change. He says the firm also misappropriated airline vouchers that were given to the parade.
Schneiderman says the scam never would have happened if the board had provided the oversight that New York state law requires. As a result, Schneiderman has removed almost the entire Puerto Rican Day Parade Board, including the chair, Madelyn Lugo. Three board members will stay on, and nine new members have been selected to join the board.
Velasquez is not facing any criminal charges at this time but he is required to pay back the $1 million he allegedly stole, plus a $100,000 penalty. He must also disaffiliate entirely with the parade.