Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Former state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. and son, Pedro, plead not guilty to tax evasion charges

Originally Published:Tuesday, April 5th 2011, 2:23 PM
Updated: Tuesday, April 5th 2011, 3:24 PM

Former state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. and his son Pedro G. Espada leave Brooklyn court Tuesday after their arraignment.
Ward for News
Former state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. and his son Pedro G. Espada leave Brooklyn court Tuesday after their arraignment.

Former state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. and his son Pedro G. Espada pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Brooklyn Federal Court to a new indictment accusing them of tax evasion.

The father and son are charged with filing bogus tax returns that falsely reported hundreds of thousands of dollars in business expenses from Community Expansion Development Company, Espada Jr.'s for-profit janitorial firm that serviced a network of health-care clinics they operated in the Bronx.

The two are also charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with an alleged bid-rigging scheme for a janitorial services contract, according to the superceding indictment.

The Espadas were arrested last December on corruption charges while the Bronx Democrat was still in office. Prosecutors had announced months ago that there would be additional charges.

"There's nothing new, we knew all along that this was coming," said Espada Jr.'s lawyer, Susan Necheles.

They are charged with embezzling more than $500,000 from the health care clinic - which receives federal funds - to pay for tickets to Broadway shows, sports events, meals in restaurants and concerts.

The trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 12 before Federal Judge Frederic Block.

Espada, Jr. was his usual jovial self in the courthouse. "We're fine, we're blessed and we're absolutely ready for trial," he said.

Post a Comment