Feds want Pedro Espada's bail revoked
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Brooklyn federal prosecutors have moved to revoke the bail of former State Senate power broker Pedro Espada Jr., accusing him of continuing to siphon money from the defunct nonprofit Soundview health care network he was convicted of plundering this spring.
In a letter to U.S. District Judge Frederic Block, who ordered Espada to stay away from Soundview after his conviction, the government said Espada, his family and his lawyer had snatched most of $600,000 Soundview received from another nonprofit when it sold its Bronx facilities.
The government said Espada's son Alejandro, named to run Soundview, used the money the day after it was received to obtain cashier's checks for $40,000 to Espada, $42,045 to his co-defendant son Pedro Gautier Espada, $81,500 to a company just incorporated by Alejandro, and $104,000 to a company controlled by the former senator.
"Notably, Soundview owes at least $2 million to innocent creditors, such as medical supply companies, and approximately $1 million to the Internal Revenue Service in payroll taxes," prosecutors wrote. "However, no such creditors received any of the $600,000."
Espada was convicted earlier this year of looting hundreds of thousands of dollars from Soundview for personal expenses. He faces retrial on some charges the jury could not resolve, as does his son Pedro Gautier Espada, whose trial produced a hung jury on all charges.
The two men also face separate tax charges in federal court in Manhattan. In a separate letter to U.S. District Judge William Pauley, who is overseeing that case, prosecutors said Espada and his son may have lied about their finances.
In the letter to Block, prosecutors said an additional $5,200 from Soundview went to the bodyguard who escorted Espada to and from his trial in Brooklyn, and $50,000 went to the law firm of Susan Necheles, the lawyer who defended him.
"It is difficult to comprehend why a company -- let alone a nonprofit -- would continue to pay the legal fees of an employee after the employee was convicted of stealing from it," prosecutors wrote. "Yet, that is precisely what happened here."
Necheles did not return calls. Espada's lawyer in the Manhattan case, Daniel Hochheiser, said in a statement that Espada should remain free on bail because he is not a flight risk.
Espada is currently out on a $750,000 bond. Block has set a hearing for Friday on the request to revoke bail and jail him.