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New York judge sentenced to 15 months prison for gambling fraud

Sylvia Ash NY gambling news

Sylvia Ash, a former New York judge, has been sentenced to one year and three months in jail on charges relating to embezzlement, gambling fraud and obstruction of justice. Ash’s sentence also included an $80,000 fine, 20 hours of community service every week, and 24 months of supervised release.

During her time as a New York judge, Ash helped Kam Wong, an ex-CEO of the Municipal Credit Union (MCU) who had a gambling addiction, to embezzle over US$10 million. According to the prosecutor, Ash, who was a member of the non-profit organisation, used her position to block federal detectives who were investigating the company for misconduct.

The federal investigation was a result of Wong’s misconduct while serving as the organisation’s CEO. The ex-CEO stole almost $10 million between 2007 and 2018 when he was arrested. During the investigation, it was discovered that Wong had used the stolen money to fund his gambling addiction.

The prosecutor also said that Wong used over $5.5 million to buy lottery tickets on weekends and the rest on suppressing opiates. The investigation also revealed that his drugs were provided by a former NYC police officer, Joseph Guagliardo, who was also a member of the Municipal Credit Union’s supervisory committee.

In 2019, Wong received his 66-month prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to embezzlement of funds at MCU. In 2020, the former NYC police officer was also sentenced to 27 months in prison.

Ash’s obstruction of justice

While serving as a New York judge, Ash was also the chair of the Board of Directors at the Municipal Credit Union. Her position allowed her to prevent the investigators from finding any helpful materials about Wong’s misconduct.

After Wong’s arrest, Ash was subpoenaed in 2018. The subpoena required her to deliver any documents relating to Wong. But the former judge claimed that she did not have any such documents.

Ash was arrested in 2019, after which the phone that was given to her by Wong was seized. She had, however, tried to wipe the cellphone, hoping to destroy any incriminating evidence. But the investigators were able to retrieve the text messages.

About MCU

The MCU is one of the oldest credit unions in New York City. It provides banking services to over 500,000 municipal workers. The organisation’s funds are usually directed back to the union members in the form of favourable rates and pocket-friendly fees for services and products.

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