Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – The former New York State Senate majority leader Pedro Espada Jr. was sentenced to five years in prison on Friday.
The Democrat embezzled $500,000 from a non-profit health clinic in Brooklyn, New York that was funded by state grants.
Prosecutors said Espada lived a rich lifestyle with the embezzled money including going to Broadway shows, purchasing a Bentley and buying a Pony for a birthday party.
Governor Andrew Cuomo applauded the sentencing in a release.
"Today is a victory for the People of New York. As Attorney General, I launched the investigation that led to the conviction of Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars and violating the trust placed in him by the people of New York State. 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. Today, justice was served," Cuomo said.
The 58-year-old Espada will have three years of supervised release after serving his time in prison.