Espada found guilty of theft
By Adam Wisnieski
Pedro Espada is down for the count.
After years of accusations and speculation about his malfeasance, the former state Senator who represented Kingsbridge and parts of Riverdale was convicted of four counts of theft in a Brooklyn federal courthouse Monday.
A seven-man, five-woman jury announced the partial guilty verdict after 11 days of deliberations and a two-month trial. Each count carries a maximum 10-year sentence.
The jury found Mr. Espada, 58, guilty of stealing $448,000 from the Soundview Healthcare Network — a not-for-profit network of health facilities he founded and led — to pay for personal expenses for him and his family.
Judge Frederic Block declared a mistrial on other conspiracy and fraud charges against Mr. Espada. The jury could also not come to a consensus on any of the charges against his son, Pedro G. Espada.
The government is appealing to the court to recoup the more than $400,000 Mr. Espada was found guilty of stealing.
The court found that Mr. Espada used a variety of schemes to embezzle funds out of Soundview. He charged personal expenses, including dinners, concert tickets, home renovations, spa treatments for his wife and a vacation to Puerto Rico to the Soundview American Express card and never paid for reimbursements. He also submitted false receipts for reimbursements, had Soundview pay for his wife’s GMC Yukon SUV and pocketed more than $200,000 in rent payments collected by a variety of tenants using space at Soundview.
When the guilty verdict was read, Mr. Espada showed no emotion and rested his hands on the defense table in front of him.
Outside, his attorney spoke to the press.
“This is a sad day for Mr. Espada and his family and a sadder day still for Soundview and the Soundview community. A health care center has been destroyed and many people who were given great health care, great health care, over the years no longer are able to get that health care,” Susan Necheles, Mr. Espada’s attorney, said on Monday.
KeywordsAdam Wisnieski, Pedro Espada, Soundview Healthcare Network, stealing, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Susan Necheles.