Friday, March 23, 2012

Espada paid ghostwriter 8G of embezzled funds to write his memoir

Donald McLaren tells court he interviewed Espada in Soundview clinic in 2008

  Donald McLaren, of Queens, a ghost writer for Pedro Espada, outside Brooklyn Federal Court on March 22nd, 2012, where he testified at the former State Senator's corruption trial.

Jesse A. Ward for New York Daily News

Donald McLaren outside court.

Bryan Pace for New York Daily News

Former State Sen. Pedro Espada Jr.

Former state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. paid a ghostwriter $8,000 to pen his memoirs with funds embezzled through a cleaning company owned by his nonprofit charity.

The writer, Donald McLaren, testified in Brooklyn Federal Court Thursday that Espada had answered an ad for his services and sat for about 20 hours of interviews in the conference room of Espada's Soundview health clinic in 2008.

Espada sent the writer two checks written from a cleaning company that was wholly owned by the clinic.

But the project fizzled before McLaren wrote a word.

“He said he was going to law school, but I think that was just a nice story,” McLaren said outside court.

Espada and his son, Pedro Gautier Espada, are charged with embezzling more than $500,000 from Soundview and the cleaning company, CEDC, to pay for personal expenses.

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