Last Updated: 1:40 AM, March 28, 2012
Posted: 1:09 AM, March 28, 2012
April 15 is Tax Day for most people — but for former state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr., and his son, it was cook-the-books day, federal prosecutors tried to show yesterday.
Two accountants testified at the Espadas’ embezzlement trial, one detailing a slew of checks cut by their cleaning company, CEDC. They were ostensibly for tax-deductible business expenses — but prosecutors say they were for personal enrichment.
Among them were a $2,229 check for a purported “scholarship” that was actually college tuition for an Espada relative; a $2,467 check for a “staff dinner” attended by Espada relatives; a $4,490 check for purported “legal expenses” that actually paid for the Espada family’s Puerto Rico vacation; and a $400 check, marked for part-time clerical work, that actually paid a videographer for an Espada grandchild’s birthday, prosecutors charge.
Two other checks really took the cake.
One was for $400 in 2007, written to a company called Profusion Management.
“Were you aware that Profusion Management was a credit-counseling company, and the senator went there to get credit counseling?” asked prosecutor Todd Kaminsky in Brooklyn federal court.
“No,” answered Winnie Wong, the accountant who helped prepare CEDC’s federal tax returns with information provided by the son, Pedro Gautier Espada.
Another accountant, Marc Koppleman, testified that on tax-filing day, 2010, Pedro Gautier Espada e-mailed him, saying that he “just wanted to make sure you filed my extension and I’m not going to jail.”
“Confirmed! No jail time,” Koppelman told Espada, relating the story to jurors who will decide whether his prediction holds.
Both Espadas are charged with looting the Soundview Health Care Network in The Bronx and the cleaning company of more than $500,000 by having them pay for personal expenses disguised as business expenses.
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/bronx/feds_on_the_at_tax_vs_pedro_OUWTXjtcJr9UcDvF2TEWXP#ixzz1qPrXMWfd