Former Councilman Ricki Barlow pleads guilty to stealing tens of thousands of campaign contributions

Las Vegas City Hall is seen on Thursday, March, 16, 2017. The Nevada Independent.

Former Las Vegas City Councilman Ricki Barlow pleaded guilty Monday to stealing tens of thousands of dollars from his re-election campaign.

The Justice Department announced Monday that Barlow pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and admitted to diverting campaign contributions for his own personal use before U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Gordon. This caused his campaign to submit false campaign finance reports to the Nevada Secretary of State.

Barlow admitted to coordinating a kickback scheme where he hired friends and associates to work as campaign vendors who submitted inflated invoices. He would then receive about half of their campaign checks. He admitted to steering $49,125 for his own use through the scheme.

Barlow resigned from his City Council seat Jan. 22 when he announced that he planned to plead guilty on felony fraud charges.

“No one, including elected officials, is above the law,” said U.S. Attorney Elieson. “The defendant violated his oath of office and the public’s trust for his personal gain. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting the community and to the vigorous prosecution of all who seek to personally enrich themselves at the public’s expense.”

His sentencing is set for May 31.