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Former Queens City Council Candidate Jailed For Campaign Fraud

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A former New York City Council hopeful will serve time behind bars for fudging her campaign donations to steal around $18,000 in matching funds from the city, prosecutors said Friday.

Celia Dosamantes, 27, ran in the 2015 special election to represent Queens' 23rd District covering Bayside and Douglaston. In February, she was convicted of upping the numbers on her donation cards to ilk more money out of the city's Matching Funds Program, which offers to match eligible residents' donations at a $6-to-$1 rate.

"Celia Dosamantes tried and failed to defraud a nationally-renowned program that bolsters participation in our democracy and empowers New York City residents to make their voices heard," said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

To get money from the city's Matching Funds Program, campaigns must regularly report all contributions, donations and other financial activity and provide receipts to verify it, Vance said.

On Aug. 10, 2015, Dosamantes submitted dozens of forged receipts for cash or check donations to her campaign, altering 30 legitimate contribution cards for small donations to make it appear those contributors had later given more money, according to the trial.

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