Thursday, June 13, 2013

Feds seek seven-year sentence for Espada

By Adam Wisnieski
Posted 6/13/13

Judge Frederic Block shot down former state Sen. Pedro Espada’s motion for a new trial, which means the convicted politician’s sentencing is still on for Friday, June 14.
Meanwhile, prosectuors filed a sentencing memo on June 7 asking Judge Block to give Mr. Espada seven years in prison.
The government submitted a 22-page document detailing Mr. Espada’s schemes and an estimate of his $618,000 in “ill-gotten gains.” On top of the seven-year sentence, the government wants Mr. Espada to pay $368,088 in restitution, as well as the $118,531 he owes the IRS.
“The court should fashion a sentence that teaches Espada that his actions were wrong and deters him from engaging in future criminal schemes,” reads the memo.
Mr. Espada, who was convicted last year for stealing from the not-for-profit Soundview Healthcare Network he founded, filed a motion for a new trial on the grounds that Judge Block had an improper conversation with the jury and jurors relied on a document that was never submitted into evidence. Judge Block denied having such a conversation and also reminded Mr. Espada that he’s not supposed to have any contact with jurors without first obtaining permission from the court. Mr. Espada submitted 35 pages in transcripts of interviews he or his lawyer conducted with two jurors. He also submitted the results of a polygraph test that concluded he did not intimidate the jurors into talking.
Judge Block last week also rejected a motion from Angel Cruz, Mr. Espada’s attorney, to be removed from the case.
Mr. Cruz wrote in his motion for removal that Mr. Espada submitted the documents accusing the judge of misconduct without his “consent, authority or approval.”
“Based upon the actions of Pedro Espada, I no longer have an attorney-client relationship with Mr. Espada,” Mr. Cruz wrote in his motion.
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