Former NY State Senator Espada Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud

Former Democratic New York State Senator Pedro Espada, Jr. pleaded guilty to tax fraud in Brooklyn federal court on Friday. 

It’s part of a deal with prosecutors over charges that the former senate majority leader and his son, Pedro Gautier Espada, looted more than $500,000 from the not-for-profit health clinics he founded, the Soundview Healthcare Network, for their personal use. 

Espada was convicted on four criminal counts back in May, but the federal jury deadlocked on four other counts and a new trial was expected.  That same jury deadlocked on all eight counts against the younger Espada.

The guilty plea is part of a deal that involves the son and an agreement not to appeal or challenge the original jury’s verdict.

Espada faces up to 43 years in prison and fines in excess of $2 million, while his son faces up to two years imprisonment at sentencing which is expected in the spring.    

“Today’s guilty pleas signal the end of an era,” said United States Attorney Loretta E. Lynch for the Eastern District of New York.  “For years, Pedro Espada, Jr. betrayed the trust of the people of the Bronx by taking money designated to provide health services to a struggling community and using those funds to prop up his own lavish lifestyle,” she added.