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Former state senator Pedro Espada, Jr. sentenced to 5 years in prison

Former state senator Pedro Espada, Jr. was sentenced to 5 years in prison for stealing federal money from non-profit health clinics.

Former New York state senator Pedro Espada, Jr. was sentenced to five years in prison for stealing federal money from non-profit health clinics and lying on his tax return. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images Former New York state senator Pedro Espada, Jr. was sentenced to five years in prison for stealing federal money from non-profit health clinics and lying on his tax return. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

Former New York state senator Pedro Espada, Jr., was sentenced Friday to five years in prison for stealing federal funding from non-profit medical clinics in the Bronx that he founded and lying on his 2005 personal tax return.

Espada, who served as the New York State senate majority leader from 2009 to 2010, was also sentenced to 100 hours of community service, is being fined $368,088 and will have to pay the Internal Revenue Service $118,531. He owes an as-yet undetermined amount in restitution to his victims, the FBI reported.

"Over 30 years ago, Pedro Espada, Jr. helped establish the Soundview Health Center, but his own greed and self-dealing undermined that good work," said FBI Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos.

According to U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, Espada "embezzled funds to finance his personal lifestyle and lavish gifts on friends and family members at the expense of taxpayers and underprivileged members of the Bronx community who were deprived of needed health services and medical equipment."

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who as Attorney General launched the investigation into Espada, called his sentencing "a victory for the People of New York."

"This sentence sends a clear and direct message that those who defraud this state's taxpayers will be held accountable and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Cuomo said.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat

 
 
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