NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Brooklyn Supreme Court judge and a retired NYPD officer have been arrested and are facing multiple charges connected to a New York City credit union fraud case.
Justice Sylvia Ash was arrested on Oct. 11 on charges she destroyed evidence and lied to federal agents investigating corruption at Municipal Credit Union.
Prosecutors described MCU as one of the oldest and largest credit unions in the country with more than 500,000 members and about $3 billion in accounts.
According to her official website, the 62-year-old Ash was elected to the bench in Brooklyn state court in 2010 and has served on the state Commission on Judicial Conduct. The Office of Court Administration said in a statement that she had been “relieved of her judicial duties.”
Former NYPD officer Joseph Guagliardo was also arrested on embezzlement and fraud charges.
“Sylvia Ash, a sitting state court judge, took repeated steps to obstruct a federal investigation into significant financial misconduct at MCU during Ash’s tenure as chair of the board of directors,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement on the arrests.
“Joseph Guagliardo allegedly abused his position as an MCU supervisory committee member to enrich himself and his family.”
Court papers say that Ash, while serving as a board member from 2008 to 2016, “received annually tens of thousands of dollars in reimbursements and other benefits from MCU, including airfare, hotels, food, and entertainment expenses.” The credit union CEO, Kam Wong, kept some of the benefits in place even after Ash resigned, they add.
Authorities also say Guagliardo has been charged with providing Wong with a controlled substance.
When federal authorities began investigating the CEO for embezzlement in 2018, Ash allegedly signed false documents justifying millions of dollars in payments to the CEO, court papers say.
Wong was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison earlier this year after pleading guilty to embezzlement.
Judge Ash is facing up to 20 years in prison. Guagliardo is facing charges that could carry up to 30 years in jail.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)