Monday, April 19, 2010

Federal investigators, IRS probing state Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada's ties to firm

Monday, April 19th 2010, 4:00 AM

New York State Sen. Pedro Espada
Roske/AP New York State Sen. Pedro Espada

Federal investigators and the IRS are scrutinizing Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada's ties to a shadowy consulting firm, sources say.

Sources close to the investigation say probers suspect the Bronx Democrat may have used the firm, called A-1 Multi-Service LLC, to avoid paying taxes on contracts for himself and people close to him.

Probers are also exploring whether A-1 was a front company used to hide proceeds from other ventures, the sources said.

Espada did not return calls seeking comment. His attorney, Dan Pagano, told a Daily News reporter that he was at a baseball game and didn't have time to talk.

State business records show A-1 is registered to 2384 Hughes Ave. - a Bronx address home to 12 apartment units and a cigar shop called Cuban Cigar Lounge.

The owner of the five-story brick building, Salvatore Dimaggio, told CBS2 that he had never heard of A-1. "Nobody ever told me that name," he said.

With Kenneth Lovet

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