Earlier today, Pedro Espada, Jr. was sentenced before Judge Frederic Block in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York, to five years’ imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for theft of federal funds from Bronx-based non-profit health care clinics and lying on his 2005 personal tax return. As part of that sentence, Judge Block ordered Espada to serve 100 hours of community service, restitution to the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of $118,531, restitution to the victims of his thefts in an amount to be determined, and forfeiture of $368,088. The court remanded Espada to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons. Espada is a former New York state senator for the 33rd Senate District in the Bronx who served as the New York State senate majority leader from 2009 to 2010.
The sentence was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; George Venizelos, Assistant Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), New York Field Office; and Toni Weirauch, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation, New York.
“The people of the Bronx trusted Pedro Espada, Jr. to have their best interests at heart. Instead, he abused that trust to the tune of more than half-a-million dollars. Under obligation to use the funds he received for the benefit of people sorely in need of quality health care, he chose instead to benefit himself and his family at their expense. Espada embezzled funds to finance his personal lifestyle and lavish gifts on friends and family members at the expense of taxpayers and underprivileged members of the Bronx community who were deprived of needed health services and medical equipment. He continued his campaign of lying and fraud on his tax returns,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “Espada has finally been held to account for his crimes.” Ms. Lynch expressed her grateful appreciation to the FBI and IRS, the agencies responsible for leading the government’s investigation, and thanked the Office of New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman for its assistance.
On May 14, 2012, a federal jury in Brooklyn returned a guilty verdict against Espada on four counts of stealing from non-profit medical clinics in the Bronx that received federal funding. On October 12, 2012, Espada pled guilty to making false statements on his 2005 personal tax return and agreed not to appeal or otherwise challenge the jury’s verdict. That same day, Espada’s son and co-defendant, Pedro Gautier Espada, pled guilty to guilty to one count of stealing federal funding from non-profit medical clinics and one count of failing to file a tax return in 2009, and his sentencing has been scheduled for June 18, 2013, also before Judge Block.
FBI Assistant Director in Charge Venizelos stated, “Over 30 years ago, Pedro Espada, Jr. helped establish the Soundview Health Center, but his own greed and self-dealing undermined that good work. Espada’s embezzlement of federal funds diverted money meant to serve the health needs of the people of the South Bronx. In lining his own pockets, he betrayed those people and stole from U.S. taxpayers in the process. There is a price to pay for these betrayals.”
The successful outcome of the collaborative effort in this investigation demonstrates the government’s resolve in investigating and prosecuting public corruption. Today’s sentences mark the end of a long period of criminal activity that harmed the patients of the not-for-profit clinics, who depended on the services the clinics provided and law abiding American taxpayers, who have to pick up the slack whenever others deliberately do not pay their fair share. IRS Criminal Investigation is proud of its partnership with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” stated IRS Special Agent in Charge Weirauch.
The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Todd Kaminsky, Carolyn Pokorny, and Claire Kedeshian.
Pedro Espada, Jr.
Mamaroneck, New York
Pedro Gautier Espada
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