AG Andrew Cuomo just announced he has filed a second lawsuit against Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr., this time accusing the Bronx Democrat of violating labor laws by creating a sham job training program that cheated workers and shortchanged state coffers.

The lawsuit alleges Espada created a for-profit management company, Espada Management, as a vehicle to siphon
money from his nonprofit, Soundview Healthcare Network, which the AG has already accused the senator of bilking to the tune of $14 million.

According to Cuomo, Espada Management, which was run by the senator’s son, Pedro G. Espada, had a $400,000-a-year contract to supply janitors for the Soundview medical clinics.

Pedro G., who did a very brief stint on the state payroll, was paid more than $150,000 by Soundview and the management firm, Cuomo said.

Espada Management set up a “sham job training program to minimize costs and maximize profits,” Cuomo maintains.

During the time trainees were in the program, the performed the same tasks as full-fledged janitors, but were only paid a fraction of what a full-time employee would make – some as little as $70 a week, or $1.70 an hour.

The company also lured people into the program by promising them jobs that were never forthcoming.

“Espada ripped off his own community in order to
maximize the amount of money he could siphon out of the Soundview clinic, according to our Complaint,” Cuomo said in a press release.

“The Espada business model at Soundview appears to have been based on lies and deceit, abusing hardworking people for profit and cheating the state out of tax dollars.”

Cuomo’s lawsuit alleges the Espadas have not only
cheated employees, but have short-changed the state as well.

According to the lawsuit:

● No pay stubs existed.
● No state unemployment taxes were paid.
● No tax deductions were made as required by law.
● Workers’ Compensation coverage was not obtained.

The lawsuit seeks, among other things, to:
● Order the defendants to pay restitution and damages for unpaid
wages.
● Award interest as allowed by law.
● Order Defendants to implement new policies to prevent abuse of
workers.
● End the janitorial training program.