Espadas retried on fraud and conspiracy
By Adam Wisnieski
It’s not over yet.
The U.S. District Attorney’s Office announced on June 5 it would retry former state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. and his son Pedro G. Espada on counts that the jury did not to come to an agreement on last month.
Judge Frederic Block has not set a date for the trial, citing the fact that the Espadas are looking for new attorneys and that there are scheduling conflicts because of Mr. Espada’s other trial to take place in Manhattan.
Mr. Espada also faces charges of filing false tax returns and making false statements to government agencies.
A jury found Mr. Espada guilty on four counts of stealing more than $448,000 from the Soundview Healthcare Network on May 14, but a mistrial was declared on fraud and conspiracy charges.
The jury could not come to an agreement on any count against his son. In order for the U.S. Attorney’s Office to prove conspiracy, the weightiest of the charges against either Espada, lawyers must first prove that not only he, but that also his son, stole from Soundview.
Mr. Espada was found guilty of counts that each carry a maximum of 10 years in prison.
On June 5, at the behest of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Judge Block also ordered that Mr. Espada not have any contact with current employees of Soundview Healthcare Network or its board of directors.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office does not always retry after a mistrial.
“In the interest of justice we are going to retry Espada and his son on the undecided counts,” Robert Nardoza, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said on Monday.
According to news sources, Mr. Espada decided to part ways with his attorney, Susan Necheles, because of scheduling conflicts.
During closing arguments of the trial, Pedro G. Espada’s attorney Thomas Thornhill argued that his client was hardly mentioned during the trial and that dozens of witnesses failed to implicate him in any way.
KeywordsSen. Pedro Espada Jr, Pedro G. Espada, Soundview Healthcare Network, Judge Frederic Block, U.S. District Attorney's Office,