Friday, October 12, 2012

Espada and son plead guilty to tax fraud

Pedro Espada speaks to reporters outside a Brooklyn federal courthouse on Oct. 12. 
By Adam Wisnieski  Posted 10/12/12
Brooklyn, Oct. 10 — Former state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. and his son pleaded guilty to federal tax fraud charges this afternoon.
Mr. Espada, who was convicted in May of stealing nearly $450,000 from his non-profit Soundview Healthcare Network, admitted to filing a false income tax return for 2005.
His son, Pedro Gautier Espada, confessed to submitting a false income tax return for 2009 and to theft and coercion of public funds.
True to form, the disgraced state Senator walked out of Brooklyn Federal Court with the same broad smile he walked in with.
The plea deal offered to the men guarantees the dismissal of all other charges they faced.
After 11 days of deliberations in May, a jury convicted former state Sen. Pedro Espada on four counts of theft but could not come to a consensus on any of the charges against his son, Pedro G. Espada, or on conspiracy and fraud charges against the former state Senator.
Judge Frederic Block declared a mistrial on those counts.
Mr. Espada now faces between five and eight years and may be forced to pay a fine and restitution to government. His son faces up to two years.
Sentencing for the combined federal charges the two men have been found guilty of is scheduled for Feb. 22.
Mr. Espada spoke briefly to a mob of reporters outside of the courthouse.
“We have accepted responsibility and we are moving on with our lives,” he said.
“I feel blessed today, as I have in the past.”
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