Tuesday, May 15, 2012

State Senator Convicted Of Stealing From Nonprofit

Former N.Y. State Senator Pedro Espada was convicted yesterday of stealing more than $500,000 from the nonprofit health network that he founded. He faces up to 10 years in prison on four counts of theft.

Espada, 58, was convicted after 11 days of deliberation, according to a report in Newsday. He has often been described as the poster child of corruption in Albany by good government groups, serving as a major power broker as the former Senate majority leader in New York.

Espada is convicted of using the funds from Bronx-based Soundview for personal expenses, such as personal meals, home improvements, and vacations from 2005 to 2008. His son, Pedro Gautier Espada, was also charged. They used a for-profit janitorial company to siphon money from the organization.

Deliberations for the case took longer than expected. Jurors deadlocked on all counts against Pedro Gautier, as well as one theft charge and three conspiracy charges against Espada. Two jurors speaking outside the court said the panel was divided 9-3 for two weeks. Holdouts were apparently worried about an anti-Espada agenda. They were eventually convinced after further review of the evidence.

The case against Espada was first brought to light by now Gov. Andrew Cuomo when he was still serving as attorney general. He said in a statement that the state was working to ensure that patients at Soundview would receive proper care despite the loss of funds.

You can read the full story in Newsday.

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