A former New York State Senator pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit mail fraud in connection with embezzling thousands of dollars from an non-profit organization that helped educate parents about the New York City public school system, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.
The senator, Shirley Huntley, served in the New York State Senate from 2007 to 2010. During part of the time of the charged conspiracy, Huntley was a senator.
"Huntley's experience and influence were supposed to be used for the benefit of her constituents. Instead, Huntley used her knowledge of the system to steal funds intended to help some of her neediest constituents, lining her own pockets at the expense of parents in need and, ultimately, their children," stated U.S. Loretta Lynch. "She will now be held to account for her crime. This guilty plea underscores our unwavering commitment to hold responsible those who abuse their authority and pursue their own financial interests instead of the public interest."
Federal officials stated that Huntley ran a Queens non-profit organization known as Parents Information Network Inc or PIN.
From October 2005 through October 2008, officials stated Huntley embezzled approximately $87,700 from PIN.
Huntley falsely certified to New York State that these funds would be used, and had been used, to support PIN's charitable mission, according to officials. Instead, Huntley used the money for her own personal benefit and for the benefit of her family members and associates. During this time period, PIN received nearly all of its funding from New York State.
Huntley could get up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when she is sentenced.