Louis LaPolla, who served as mayor of Utica for more than 10 years and president of the city school board for four years, pleaded guilty Friday to a mail fraud scheme in which he enriched himself through donations to a scholarship fund in his late wife's name, federal prosecutors said.

LaPolla, 78, of Utica, pleaded guilty in Syracuse federal court to mail fraud in which he stole nearly $40,000 in scholarship donations, according U.S. Attorney Carla Freedman and Craig Tremaroli, special agent in charge of the FBI Albany Field Office. 

In his plea, LaPolla admitted to establishing a scholarship fund for school students in honor of his late wife, Andrea LaPolla, and using nearly $40,000 he received in donations from individuals and businesses to spend on himself, prosecutors said.

LaPolla, who served as mayor from 1984-1995 and for 21 total years on the Utica school board ending in 2022, will be sentenced on Sept. 10. 

LaPolla pleaded guilty earlier this year to a petit larceny charge, admitting he used city school district school supplies to send out fundraising flyers. He was sentenced to 60 days of house arrest, three years of probation and ordered to pay $3,100 in restitution, according to federal officials.