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The Espadas' Embezzlement Trial Set

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Ex-lawmaker Pedro Espada Jr. is preparing for a federal trial on embezzlement charges this week in New York.

Espada and his son are accused of pilfering state grants directed to the Soundview Health Center to pay for tickets for Broadway shows, a down payment on a Bentley and a birthday party pony, among other things. Prosecutors say the spending of more than $500,000 also included tickets for sporting events and concerts, posh restaurant tabs and a petting zoo.

Espada has described the indictment by the U.S. attorney's office and then-state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo as a political "witch hunt." The charges ultimately cost him his state Senate seat.

Meanwhile, the beleaguered Bronx health care clinics he founded are fighting to stay open to serve some of New York's poorest neighborhoods.

 

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Nasr ul Hadi

is New York-based journalist and multimedia producer. He has worked across print, broadcast and online media, with some of Asia’s largest media brands - Reliance FM, Times of India and NDTV. Beyond work, Nasr has also explored creative and philanthropic projects. He wrote a few episodes for a BBC World Service Trust radio drama on gender issues in South Asian society. He was also part of a team that set up informal primary schools for marginalized children in Aligarh, India. Currently a digital media student at the Columbia Journalism School, Nasr tells stories as text, audio, video, photos, tweets, interactive data and more.