Former New York Senator Shirley Huntley pleaded guilty in federal court today for embezzling money from a publicly funded charitable organization. Huntley misappropriated more than $87,000 from the charity during her time in the Senate. She used the stolen money for her own personal benefit and for the benefit of her family members and associates.
Huntley represented the 10th District in Queens from 2007 to 2012. For a portion of that time, she ran a Queens non-profit known as Parents Information Network Inc. (PIN). PIN, primarily funded by New York State, educated parents about the New York City public school system. From 2005 to 2008, Huntley embezzled over $87,700 from her own charity.
According to the FBI, Huntley had control over PIN’s bank account. After reviewing the transactions, investigators found that she wrote checks to herself and family members. She payed personal credit card bills and withdrew about $34,000 in cash through the ATM. Huntley even wrote checks to straw recipients, who would cash the check and return almost all of the money.
In her plea agreement, she agreed to reimburse New York State the $87,700 she embezzled. In addition to the monetary restitution, Huntley faces up to 5 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. United States Attorney, Loretta Lynch said, “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.”