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Financial exec says health clinic struggled paying bills, but Pedro Espada's credit card always paid on time

Phil Velez says Soundview HealthCare Network had problems paying insurance, rent and payrolls
New York Daily News
by Jennifer H. Cunningham
April 18, 2012

Financial exec testified against former state majority leader Pedro Espada (pictured) saying the disgraced pol's credit card was never in default, but the Bronx nonprofit he ran always had trouble paying bills.Ex-State Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. ran his nonprofit Bronx health clinic into the ground ­ but the company credit card that bankrolled his private expenses was always paid on time, a court heard Tuesday.

The former chief financial officer for Soundview HealthCare Network testified against the former state majority leader in Brooklyn Federal Court Tuesday.

Phil Velez said the nonprofit “frequently” had problems paying health and business insurance, rent and payrolls.

Espada's $256K from 'vacation' hours

New York Post
by Rebecca Rosenberg and Dan Mangan
April 18, 2012

Why didn’t he just take the whole year off?

Pedro Espada Jr. collected a staggering $256,195 payout for accrued “unused vacation time” ­ equivalent to 2,160 paid hours ­ an official from the ex-state senator’s taxpayer-funded Bronx nonprofit testified yesterday at his embezzlement trial.

Espada took the massive charge-off ­ equal to getting paid for 54 weeks of full-time work ­ so that he could reimburse his Soundview Health Care Network for “personal expenses” racked up on the charity’s corporate American Express card, the nonprofit’s chief financial officer, Philip Valdez, testified.

Even with the $256,000 payout, Espada was $30,000 short for personal expenses he admitted owing the company, Valdez said in Brooklyn federal court.

So on Jan. 1, 2009, Soundview granted Espada his full, annual eight weeks of vacation ­ without him having to accrue it over that year ­ so he could take another payout against vacation time and cover the shortfall, Valdez said.

Espada’s Sacked

New York Post
by Rebecca Rosenberg and Dan Mangan
April 17, 2012

Federal prosecutors unleased a torrent of new evidence against Pedro Espada Jr., and his son at their embezzlement trial yesterday.

Among them were receipts showing that the ex-state senator and his wife, Connie, used the company credit card of the Soundview Healthcare Network nonprofit Espada ran to buy thousands of dollars worth of window shades, fencing, garage doors and stones that all were shipped to the couple’s Westchester County home from 2006 to 2008.

Pedro Espada embezzled from nonprofit Bronx health clinic to buy picket fence for his Westchester dream home, prosecutors charge

Government’s revelations kicked off fifth week of corruption trial
New York Daily News
by John Marzulli and Bill Hutchinson
April 17, 2012

The Mamaroneck, Westchester County, home of state Senator Pedro Espada; Aaron Showalter/NY Daily News

Ex-state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. embezzled from his nonprofit Bronx health clinic to buy a picket fence for his Westchester dream home and even a pack of chewing gum, prosecutors charged Monday.

A stack of receipts the government submitted into evidence show Espada went on a spending spree with taxpayer money to fix up a luxury house that was not even in his working-class district.

Espada, 58, once the state Senate majority leader, billed his Soundview HealthCare Network for a $697 Home Depot picket fence and a $2,092 garage door, which included the fee for hauling away the old door.

Son of a beach

New York Post
by Mitchel Maddux and Dan Mangan
April 14, 2012

He was living the “suite” life.

Pedro Espada Jr. used $15,000 of his Bronx nonprofit’s money so he and his family could live it up at a luxurious beachside Puerto Rico resort, prosecutors revealed yesterday.

That cash covered the Espada clan’s stay in a San Juan hotel suite, two other rooms, meals at resort restaurants, minibar charges, room service and “resort fees,” a witness testified in Brooklyn federal court.

The Espadas’ two-bedroom suite alone cost about $9,000 for five nights ­ and a single meal at The Palm restaurant during the trip there cost $478.38, a witness testified.

Espada also rang up seven minibar charges, including one dip in the fridge for $109.24.

At the same time that the taxpayer-funded Soundview Healthcare Network was paying his and his relatives’ expenses, he collected $1,500 worth of “per diem” payments from Soundview for the November 2008 Puerto Rico stay at El San Juan Hotel and Casino.

Pedro charged Puerto Rico junket to clinic credit card

Espada and family racked up $15G bill
New York Daily News
by John Marzulli
April 13, 2012

A junket at a posh hotel in Puerto Rico turned into a family affair for ex-State Sen. Pedro Espada, Jr., with his Bronx nonprofit clinic picking up the $15,000 tab.

Federal prosecutors produced credit card receipts showing Espada and family members staying in six rooms at the El San Juan Hotel and Casino over five days in November 2008.

Espada whipped out the corporate credit card issued by his Soundview health clinic for meals at the hotel’s La Terraza restaurant ­ breakfast one day was $17 smoked salmon and $15 eggs Benedict ­ charges from the minibar, pool bar and even an $8.40 bill at a Starbucks.

Soundview yes, Espada no

Riverdale Press
Editorial
April 11, 2012

Ex State Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. is on trial for misusing funds from Soundview Health Care Network. One of the clinics, above, was open for business on Easter Sunday.

On Good Friday, when government offices, banks and markets were closed, Soundview Health Center’s doors were open.

A 73-year-old man, who suffered a stroke and then had a pacemaker put in two years ago, went to Soundview to get his blood tested rather than trek to Manhattan.

A 35-year-old woman arrived with an upset stomach. She moved to Throgs Neck when the youngest of her three daughters was born 13 years ago, but she still travels to Soundview for care.

The doctors, she said, know all her childrens’ names and handle them so well.

Big-spending state Senator didn’t skimp on the tip

Riverdale Press
by Adam Wisnieski
April 11, 2012

He was a good customer.

Seven restaurant managers testified last week that state Sen. Pedro Espada spent extravagant amounts of money on food using his Soundview Healthcare Network American Express card, according to news reports.

Three weeks into the federal trial, the U.S. Attorney’s Office was still introducing witnesses to testify about being paid for services using money the prosecution claims Mr. Espada either embezzled or outright stole from the taxpayer-funded Soundview Healthcare Network.

The prosecution argued Mr. Espada charged thousands in personal expenses on the health network’s credit card and never reimbursed the not-for-profit.

Susan Necheles, Mr. Espada’s attorney, argued in opening statements that Mr. Espada was entitled to the money because it was part of his contract at Soundview. She also argued Mr. Espada spent all the money openly because he had nothing to hide.

Pedro Espada Jr. & kin dined well on your dime: feds

New York Post
by Pedro Oliveira Hr. and Dan Mangan
April 6, 2012

Burrrrpp!

Bronx political powerhouse Pedro Espada Jr. ate like a pig and stuck his publicly funded nonprofit with the big bills, federal prosecutors claimed yesterday while unloading a blizzard of restaurant receipts to detail the former state senator’s largess at the taxpayers’ expense.

Those checks show how Espada and his wife had a penchant for chardonnay and bottled San Pellegrino water ­ no mere tap water for them ­ to wash down shrimp scampi, Atlantic salmon, lamb, veal and chicken wings they had ordered at eateries in New York City and Westchester.

Pedros de-seatful after son in chair switch to try to fool witness

New York Post
by Pedro Oliveira Jr. and Dan Mangan
April 5, 2012

Ex-state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. and his similarly named son engaged in some musical chairs yesterday at their embezzlement trial ­ as defense lawyers suggested a witness was confusing the son with the dad.

Pedro Gautier Espada ­ for the first time during the trial ­ moved from his chair several seats away to sit right next to his dad just before the witness was asked to point at the “Pedro Espada” she dealt with on a suspicious building-cleaning contract.

Before that switcheroo, the two Espadas sat separated by their lawyers in Brooklyn federal court throughout the trial.

Espada Thuggery

Why is Pedro Espada and his in-house thug Norreida Reyes trying to shut down this site? Many Democrats won't acknowledge that Espada is more like them than they would like to admit.

Was Espada's use of government staff in an effort to shut down this web site illegal?

Espada's staff has a problem with the site

Espada's intimidation continues

Espada's cronies confused

ISP Responds to Espada and Norreida Reyes attempt to quash Free Speech

This Doesn't pass the Giggle Test: She calls this site "hate speech"

And with that, we haven't heard a peep from Espada or Ms. Reyes for many months. Perhaps more pressing issues took precedence, like keeping her job now that Pedro Espada is headed to obscurity.

About this site

This site is not associated with, approved by or supported by Pedro Espada, any of his aliases, cronies, hacks, thugs, surrogates, poverty pimps, pals, committees, fake community groups, overly-biased, lazy or questionable journalists, pay-to-play beneficiaries, real estate lawyers, political parties or clubs. This site is also not affiliated or supported in any way with any candidate for political office. It is intended to provide political commentary, criticism, parody and satire. Not a penny of the $14 million allegedly siphoned from Soundview Health Clinic by Pedro Espada for personal expenses went into the creation of this web site.