NEWARK  — The former treasurer for Mayor Ras Baraka's election campaign has admitted embezzling more than $220,000 by writing phony checks in the names of consultants and vendors for services that were never performed.

Frederick Murphy Jr. pleaded guilty Tuesday to wire fraud, bank fraud and tax evasion. The 56-year-old Bloomfield man faces up to 55 years in prison when he's sentenced Sept. 11.

Murphy served the Baraka campaign between January 2014 and March 2017.

Federal prosecutors say Murphy cashed the checks with the forged signature of the payees and his own as a double endorsement. He then reported them as legitimate campaign expenditures in quarterly filings with the state.

Murphy also under-reported $102,954 in embezzled campaign funds on his personal income tax return for 2016.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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