Former New York state Senate Democratic majority leader Pedro Espada Jr. and his son are accused of tax fraud and making false statements to the government in an indictment by U.S. prosecutors in Manhattan.
Espada, 58, and Pedro Gautier Espada, 38, were named in an indictment filed yesterday charging both with making false statements to conceal bid rigging and theft of funds from a clinic they run. They’re also accused of helping prepare fraudulent tax returns for business expenses reported in fiscal years 2004 and 2005.
Both men are on trial in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, charged with stealing more than $500,000 from the nonprofit health-care clinic they operate, Soundview Healthcare Center in the borough of the Bronx, New York, according to prosecutors in the office of Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch. Pedro Espada started Soundview, which gets more than $1 million a year in federal funding, in 1978.
“We’re disappointed that instead of waiting two more weeks until the end of the current trial, the government has chosen to bring a new indictment in the midst of a trial, thereby deliberately generating negative publicity against the Espadas and endangering the fairness of the current trial,” Susan R. Necheles, a lawyer for Pedro Espada, said in a telephone interview.
The Espadas were charged by Brooklyn prosecutors in December 2010 when the elder Espada was still in the Senate. He had been defeated that September in the Democratic primary for his Bronx seat. In a trial that began March 15, Brooklyn federal prosecutors said the Espadas engaged in several illegal schemes from January 2005 to February 2010.
Russell M. Gioiella, Gautier Espada’s lawyer, didn’t immediately return a voice-mail message left at his office yesterday seeking comment on the charges.
The cases are U.S. Pedro Espada Jr., 12-cr-235, U.;S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan); U.S. v. Espada, 10-cr-985, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).
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