Friday, January 7, 2011

One More For The Pedro Espada Files: Tax Evasion

pedro espada grimacing_0.jpgFormer state senator Pedro Espada, Jr. will be socked with a new indictment charging him with tax evasion, a federal prosecutor said today. Our John Marzulli reports:

Espada and his son Pedro G. Espada were charged last month with looting over $500,000 from non-profit health clinics in the Bronx for personal expenses including tickets to Broadway shows and sports events, dinners and a luxury car.

Assistant Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Colleen Kavanagh said the government expects to file a new indictment in the next four to six weeks charging father and son with tax violations relating to the plundered funds.

Kavanagh said no plea deal has been extended to the Espadas.

"I don't anticipate the case will be resolved short of trial," she said

Outside court, defense lawyer Susan Necheles said the tax charges were expected and suggested the government had rushed to get out the first indictment so Espada could be arrested while he was still in office.

Necheles said he wasn't interested in a plea offer.

"They could offer an apology," she said.

Federal prosecutors have turned over hundreds of thousands of documents seized from the Soundview Healthcare Network during the investigation that was started by then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and completed by Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch.

Federal Judge Frederic Block - who called the former senate majority leader "Mr. Estrada" - tentatively scheduled the trial for sometime this fall.

Espada Jr., who was ousted from office in the last election by disgusted voters, was asked how he's keeping himself busy these days.

"I've been devoting my time to my family, my business and staying in shape in the winter," he said.

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