A Week Before His Sentencing, Former State Senator Pedro Espada Wants a Retrial

Categories: Corruption

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It was a quintessential New York corruption story. A few years ago, state Senator Pedro Espada Jr. and his son, Pedro Gautier Espada, were busted by then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo of embezzling at least $500,000 from the family's nonprofit in the Soundview section of the Bronx. Former Voice writer Tom Robbins called him "Albany's greatest scoundrel" and, now, a week before the Bronx Democrat's long-awaited sentencing, Mr. Espada Jr. wants a judicial re-do.

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Comptroller John Liu Gives Back His Campaign's Dirty Cash

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With the primaries in four months, this is probably a good idea.

By now, the controversy over John Liu's run for comptroller in 2010 is an old wives' tale in recent New York City scandal history. His campaign's treasurer and one of its fundraisers set up straw donors--which is when a person illegally taps into another person's cash funds and makes donations in their name. By doing so, they paid themselves thousands in fraudulent kickbacks. But don't worry: Kustice was served earlier this month when the two were found guilty of campaign fraud in federal court.

As damage control, Liu has been trying to distance himself from that story since it happened, stating time and time again that he had no part in the scheme and could not have known about it. Naturally, the mayoral race has kicked that PR effort into high gear. According to his most recent campaign filings, it's been discovered that Liu refunded every cent in his fundraising treasure chest left over from the scandal.

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After Helping The FBI, Former State Senator Shirley Huntley Still Gets Slapped With A Year In Prison

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At the end of last August, former State Senator Shirley Huntley called for a press conference in her home district of Jamaica, Queens. There, she informed her supporters that she would be arrested the following day for an extensive criminal investigation into her personal expenses.

Turns out, between 2007 and 2008, Huntley was embezzling $90,000 through an educational non-profit she set up to spend on herself, her family and her friends. And the FBI knew all about it. So yesterday, Huntley was handed her sentence: a year and a half in state prison.

She begged the judge for a more lenient term, arguing "that you give me another chance. I vow to spend my remaining years to redeem myself in the eyes of those I have embarrassed." This sentence even comes after Huntley agreed to help the Gmen with an action that could lead to a whole new row of scandal.

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New York Lawmaker [Insert Corruption Scandal Here]

Categories: Corruption

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"Every time a politician is arrested in New York it should not feel like a scene from Groundhog Day. And yet it does." - US Attorney Preet Bharara
And it's happening again. As of this morning, State Sen. John Sampson of Brooklyn has been taken into FBI custody on corruption charges, reports NBC.

The shakedown had been expected after prosecutors told reporters last week that former assemblyman Shirley L. Huntley secretly recorded seven politicians as part of a deal in her own alleged bribery case.

Monday morning's revelation arrives as a second, or maybe third act of sorts in an ongoing drama of bribery and graft in Albany. Just last month, it was revealed that Bronx assemblyman Nelson Castro had been reporting his colleagues' fishy activities as a public corruption informant since 2009. That year, Castro secretly started working for local and federal prosecutors after being embroiled in his own set of legal troubles, according to the New York Times.

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Assemblyman Nelson Castro Resigns After Ratting Out Eric Stevenson (and Maybe Others)

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There's a good chance this week will go down in New York City political history textbooks. And not for the best reasons.

If you've watched the news (or Twitter) over the past three days, you've come across the Dan Holleran/Malcolm Smith story that involved bribing and mayoral rigging. Then, of course, the outgrowth of blame directed at Christine Quinn. And don't forget even more drama between her rivals--all of which directly leads back to the exposure of Holleran's illegal use of city funds.

And, yesterday, yet another politico was booked for corruption. South Bronx Assemblyman and Democrat Eric Stevenson was caught by federal authorities for accepting bribes of upward of $20,000. With this money, he planned on passing a law that would solely benefit four adult day care developers. Like Holleran and Smith, somehow he expected to get away with it.

As if this story couldn't get any wilder, the mole was Stevenson's fellow assemblyman, Nelson Castro, who's currently facing perjury charges from 2008. And late afternoon yesterday, he resigned from his seat and described just exactly what has been going down over the past four years.

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Former State Senator Shirley Huntley Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

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In late August, Democratic State Senator Shirley Huntley called an emergency 11 a.m. press conference at her home in Jamaica, Queens. There, she announced to the crowd that she would be arrested the following Monday by authorities for embezzlement charges regarding a non-profit education group she started called The Parents Workshop.

Now, eight months later, that announcement has come to fruition: Yesterday, Ms. Huntley pleaded guilty to the charges after being indicted for concealing donation documents from "straw donors." She admitted under oath that she willingly used government grants for her group to buy luxurious items and personal gifts for her family -- a revelation similar to the one at the center of the controversy that landed former Bronx City Councilman Larry Seabrook with jail time just a few weeks ago.

As a result, the former State Senator faces two years in prison and must reimburse the taxpayers about $87,000 in stolen funds. Also, she will have to pay back the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey $1,000 for an apparent bribery scheme in which cargo supplies were moved from JFK Airport. Oh, and she's still facing a sentence in Nassau County Supreme Court because that's how far this scam spread.

Corruption can really hurt sometimes.

College Housing Non-Profit to Recover Millions in Funds Stolen by Founder

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via Linkedin
George Scott
George Scott, former president of Educational Housing Services, will finally pay the price for sucking millions of dollars out of the very organization he founded more than two decades ago.

The disgraced former president must repay $4.5 million to the organization -- after agreeing to settlement terms with the New York State Office of the Attorney General.

Scott founded EHS in the late 1980's with the mission of providing low-cost housing to students and faculty at institutions of high-learning throughout the city. He embarked on a far less honorable mission in 2002 when he created Student Services Inc., which he used to funnel money from EHS for years.

SSI secured numerous contracts with EHS from 2003-2009 to provide cable, internet and telephone services to residents. The sham organization purchased those services from large telecommunication companies and then proceeded to sell them to EHS at ridiculously inflated rates -- services that EHS could've easily purchased directly from the larger telecommunications companies at much lower rates.

In 2008, EHS and SSI agreed to a multi-million dollar telecommunication services agreement that would've ended in December 2013. SSI will forfeit the remaining $2 million it was expected to earn over the remainder of the contract.

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Trenton Mayor Tony Mack And Sex Offender Crony Indicted On Corruption Charges

Categories: Corruption
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Trenton Mayor Tony "Napoleon" Mack

Trenton Mayor Tony "Honey Fitz" Mack has been formally indicted on charges that he solicited bribes in exchange for a city-funded contract to build a parking garage. Also indicted today was Mack's sex-offender buddy Joseph Giorgianni, who "ate his way out of jail" after getting convicted of perving out on a 14-year-old girl (more on that below).

According to court documents obtained by the Voice, the feds have been investigating Mack since September 2010, when they say he, Giorgianni and several others -- including Mack's brother, Ralphiel, who also was indicted today -- accepted bribes for the parking garage contract.



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Espada & Son Will Plead Guilty To Embezzlement Charges Today

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Sometimes, you have to just give in (to charges of embezzlement).

When State Senator Pedro Espada was charged by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in May 2010 with stealing $400,000 from a Bronx clinic that he helped set up, the Democratic powerhouse, like any politician, fought passionately for his reputation of innocence. His attorneys called the charges 'rotten to the core' and the Senator argued that he was being accused out of political strategy.

This all came to fruition yesterday, when the Daily News reported that the 'disgraced' ex-State-Senator and his same-name son, Pedro Espada, would plead guilty today in Brooklyn Federal Court. However, by examining the decline of the Senator's argument and counsel in the lead-up to this decision, it was evident that it was only a matter of time.
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Here's The Script To The New Sopranos Movie (Read: Extortion Complaint Against Trenton Mayor Tony Mack)

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Trenton Mayor Tony Mack was arrested this morning after authorities say he solicited bribes in exchange for a city-funded contract to build a parking garage. We've read the entire 31-page indictment -- and it's hilarious.

With a bevy of aliases like "The Fat Man," "The Little Guy," "Honey Fitz," and "JoJo," the  indictment reads more like a script for the Sopranos than something that actually could happen in real life -- or outside of New Jersey.

"Uncle Remus" is code for the money Mack and his co-defendant -- convicted pervert/enormous fatso Joseph Giorgianni -- solicit from a private contractor, and he uses analogies like "an empty garbage bag can't stand up unless you put garbage in it" to secretly explain that bribes are expected.

It's terrific in that "Seriously, New Jersey? Seriously?" sort of way. 

Read the entire complaint below.    

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