Last Updated: 5:02 AM, March 30, 2012
Posted: 12:38 AM, March 30, 2012
Pedro got paid — but good luck figuring out which one.
A confused CPA confessed she didn’t know the difference between Bronx politician Pedro Espada Jr. and his son Pedro Gautier Espada when asked about questionable checks at their embezzlement trial yesterday.
“Some of the checks are written to ‘Pedro Espada.’ To me, it’s the same person,” befuddled accountant Winnie Wong testified in Brooklyn federal court.
“Now I know they are two different people.”
Both ex-state Sen. Espada and his son are accused of looting more than $500,000 from a Bronx health-care nonprofit run by the elder Espada and from a for-profit cleaning company the son controlled.
Prosecutors allege that money was used for personal expenses — parties, dinners, flowers, cars and spa treatments — and not for business purposes, as the Espadas have claimed.
At issue yesterday was more than $36,000 in checks issued by CEDC, the cleaning company that ended up being owned by the nonprofit Soundview Health Care Network.
That money purportedly was “loans” to “Pedro Espada” from CEDC, whose tax returns Wong helped prepare.
Wong’s understanding, she has testified, was that “Pedro Espada” headed CEDC — Pedro Gautier Espada — raising questions of why the boss was having the company issue loans to him.
But defense lawyers got Wong to admit that the “Pedro Espada” who received more than $21,000 may have actually been Pedro Espada Jr.
What wasn’t disputed was that $15,000 in CEDC checks went to “loans” to company boss Pedro Gautier Espada — and that the entire $36,000 or so in checks was considered to be “business expenses.”
Also yesterday, prosecutors questioned a doctor in an effort to show that the former Senate majority leader had played a financial shell game involving Soundview and another for-profit cleaning company his family controlled — besides CEDC — known as Soundview Management Enterprises.
Dr. Sana Louis Bloch, a neurologist, said that in late 2008, Espada Jr. agreed to lease him a small space at the health nonprofit’s facility so Bloch could operate a bone-density-measuring machine there for a monthly rental charge of $1,500.
But the confirmation fax he received, Bloch testified, showed he was to pay Soundview Management Enterprises $800 in rent and $700 in “maintenance.”
And Espada’s secretary later told Bloch to write rent checks, depending on what month it was, to at least three different corporate names, all of which began with the word “Soundview,” the doctor testified.
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/bronx/los_dos_pedros_RfbUyddkcbbTC69lirNqDI#ixzz1qoZF43Zu