NEW YORK: Former Sen. Pedro Espada Pleads Guilty To Tax Fraud
rosary-waving and Catholic voodoo failed former New York state Sen. Pedro Espada today when he finally pleaded guilty to multiple felony counts of tax fraud related to the government-funded health clinics his family operated. He faces over seven years in prison and is free until sentencing is finalized.
Espada was at the center of the two most tumultuous years in the history of the state Senate and had described the 2010 indictment by the U.S. attorney's office and then-state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo as a political "witch hunt." The scandal cost him his Senate seat. Espada started Soundview in 1978 in the South Bronx, which is located in one of the poorest counties in the U.S. In the past three decades, the clinic grew to include four centers that provide health care and social services. "Instead of buying an MRI machine, he was going to Puerto Rico and raiding the mini-bar," U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, Eastern District NY, said Friday.(Tipped by JMG reader Mick)
RELATED: Espada is the third former New York Senator to be sentenced to prison this year. All three are Democrats. And all three played a role in the 2008 debacle that, for the time, had blocked same-sex marriage for New York state. (The remaining douchebag of that infamous quartet is Ruben Diaz.) Still awaiting trial is another Democrat from the New York Senate, Shirley Huntley, who was arrested last month on corruption charges. Huntley also originally voted against same-sex marriage and lost her Democratic primary in September.