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NEW YORK (AP) — A self-serving fundraiser bilked the nation’s foremost Puerto Rican heritage celebration of $1 million amid lax oversight from the city Puerto Rican Day parade’s organizers, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Thursday.
Fundraiser Carlos Velasquez underreported how much he collected from sponsors, put money that was supposed to go to scholarships toward parade floats and other purposes, and used donated airline vouchers for personal trips, Schneiderman said. He announced a settlement that will cost Velasquez more than $1 million and entailed the resignations of half of the parade board’s members, including its president, for what Schneiderman called ‘‘extreme negligence’’ in minding the nonprofit’s finances.