Prosecutors: Pedro Espada 'unrepentant'

Former state Senator Pedro Espada makes his way Former state Senator Pedro Espada makes his way to Brooklyn Federal Court for sentencing. (Oct. 12, 2012) Photo Credit: Steven Sunshine

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Brooklyn federal prosecutors on Monday urged a judge to sentence former Bronx state senator Pedro Espada this week to at least 7 years in prison for theft, calling him an "unrepentant" crook in a sharply worded sentencing memorandum.

"The public must be protected from Espada," the government told U.S. District Judge Frederic Block. "It is obvious that, if given the chance, Espada would lie, cheat and steal all over again."

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Espada, 59, was convicted last year of looting more than $500,000 from the nonprofit Soundview health network that he founded, and also pleaded guilty to tax fraud. Federal guidelines call for him to get 70 to 87 months. His sentencing is scheduled for Friday.

In the sentencing memo, prosecutors rejected attempts by Espada -- a one-time Senate majority leader -- to ask for leniency based on contributions Soundview made to health care for low-income people in the South Bronx.

Calling him the "unapologetic poster child of charity abuse," they said his misbehavior deprived Soundview of needed resources, and that he even continued to siphon out money after he was convicted.

Espada last week filed a motion for a new trial, claiming that Block improperly entered the jury room and urged a verdict during deliberations. Block, after a hearing last week at which he denied the accusation, gave Espada until Monday to withdraw the claim.

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Espada, in an email, said he did not intend to withdraw the motion. It is not known whether that will delay the sentencing.

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