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Ex-senator Pedro Espada faces new charges

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Former New York State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada didn't just plunder federal money intended for his nonprofit health center, but he also lied about how much he took, according to new charges filed by Brooklyn federal prosecutors.

The new indictment, returned late Tuesday by a federal grand jury, charges Espada with falsely claiming to the Health Resources and Services Administration that his salary of $246,750 had been reduced to $185,063 between Feb. 1, 2009 and Jan. 31, 2010. The new charges also accuse him of low-balling the 2008 profits of a janitorial service he controlled in his reporting to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Espada and his son, Pedro Gautier Espada, were charged in 2010 with conspiracy and the embezzlement of more than $500,000 from the federal government that was intended to run the Soundview Health Center. Last year, they were charged with filing fraudulent tax returns.

Espada is scheduled to be arraigned on the new charges Jan. 25. He and his son, who have pled not guilty to the earlier charges, are already set to go to trial March 12. Espada's lawyer has said his client is innocent.

(with Reuters)
 

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