Former Sen. Shirley Huntley, a Queens Democrat who was ousted in a primary last year, pleaded guilty Huntley to federal charges that she embezzled $87,700 in public funds for personal use.
Huntley was a state senator from 2007 through 2012, when she was first charged. Her plea Wednesday leaves her convicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud as part of a scheme to funnel state money to herself through a non-profit she controlled. She faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
She was released on a $100,000 bond and a sentencing date has not yet been scheduled. As part of her plea agreement, Huntley agreed to pay a total of $88,700 in restitution, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
“Huntley’s experience and influence were supposed to be used for the benefit of her
constituents,” U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement. “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.”
The former senator was charged following an investigation by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, her former colleague in the Senate Democratic Conference.