By Maria Sole Campinoti, CNN
(CNN) — The former president of the country’s fifth-largest police union was sentenced to two years in prison for a stealing more than $600,000 by filing phony expense reports, officials say.
Edward Mullins pleaded guilty in January to one count of wire fraud and was sentenced on Thursday, according to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York.
Mullins served as president from 2002 to October 2021 of the Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA), which represents all former and present New York Police Department sergeants, the press release says. Between 2017 and 2021, he stole at least $600,000 from the SBA by filing hundreds of fraudulent expenses that were usually reimbursed through members’ annual dues.
Mullins expensed personal purchases such as high-end meals, clothing, and luxury personal items, claiming they were SBA-related expenses, the press release says. He also routinely inflated the cost of the fraudulent expenses, “treating the SBA as his personal piggy bank,” prosecutors said.
In addition to prison, Mullins was sentenced to three years of supervised release and he must pay back $600,000 to the SBA in addition to forfeiting $600,000, says the press release.
“It’s an unfortunate situation,” Thomas A. Kenniff, Mullins’ attorney, told CNN. “Any time you have a client that is sent to prison, it’s obviously disappointing, but we were pleased that the judge was willing to see all the many good acts that Mr. Mullins has done in his life that far outweigh anything associated with this one incident.”
CNN contacted the SBA for comment on Saturday and was told to contact the union again on Monday.
“For years, Edward Mullins abused his position as the head of the SBA to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from the pockets of hard-working NYPD sergeants,” US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement. “As today’s sentence demonstrates, no one — not even high-ranking union bosses — is above the law.”
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