Pedro Espada charged with stealing from nonprofit foundation
Pedro Espada Jr., an outgoing member of the New York State Senate, has been indicted by a grand jury. His son, Pedro Gautier Espada, was also indicted. Both are being charged with embezzling from a nonprofit foundation.
Pedro Espada, elder and younger, charged
Pedro Espada Jr., and his son Pedro Gautier Espada, are both indicted for embezzling from the nonprofit health care network the family founded, according to the New York Times. The elder Espada, 57, a Bronx Democrat, founded Soundview HealthCare Network in 1978. Soundview is a nonprofit network of health care clinics that provides health services to low-income families. The Espadas allegedly made off with more than $500,000 of Soundview’s money. The Espadas are accused of using Soundview funds to pay for birthday parties for family members, including pony rides and a petting zoo. The elder Espada is said to have drawn a $49,000 check from Soundview to put a down payment on a Bentley for himself. He also allegedly used the company credit cards for personal use, including improvements to his home and $100,000 of meals.
Government not amused
Not only are the Espadas being indicted for embezzling from a charitable organization that provides health care services to the needy, there is a further complication: Soundview HealthCare Network is a regular recipient of federal subsidies and grants. Soundview receives more than $1 million annually from the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The company also receives millions in payments from Medicare and Medicaid programs for its services to those on government assistance.
Six charges related to thefts
Both Espadas have been indicted on five counts of theft and embezzling from the company. They are also both indicted on one count of conspiring to steal federal funds, as the Soundview Network is a regular recipient of federal funding.