NEW YORK—Former state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. pleaded guilty Friday to filing a false tax return in 2005, which enabled him to reap hundreds of thousands of dollars through a nonprofit organization.
Espada was previously convicted of four counts of stealing from Bronx nonprofit health clinics but the case was ongoing because of other crimes he committed, such as filing a false tax return.
Espada now faces up to 43 years in jail and financial penalties, including restitution, of more than $2 million.
A nonprofit that Espada founded in 1978, Soundview HealthCare Network, was used by him and his son Gautier, who also pleaded guilty. They embezzled more than $500,000 and spent the money on spa treatments, a four-day, $20,000 trip to Puerto Rico, and a $60,000 GMC Yukon, according to the FBI.
“Today’s guilty pleas signal the end of an era,” stated United States Attorney Loretta Lynch in a media release. “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 uphis own lavish lifestyle.”
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