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January 31, 2013

Former N.Y. Legislator Pleads Guilty in Nonprofit Fraud

A former New York state senator admitted in federal court Wednesday to embezzling more than $87,000 in taxpayer-funded grants to an education nonprofit she established and using much of the money "for personal shopping," Bloomberg and The New York Times report.

Shirley L. Huntley, a Queens Democrat who served in the Senate from 2007 to 2012, was ordered to repay the money to the state as part of a deal in which she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Prosecutors said she siphoned funds earmarked for the Parents Information Network, a charity she founded to give parents a greater voice on local school issues.

Ms. Huntley still faces state corruption charges in connection with the alleged theft of $30,000 from an affiliated nonprofit group, Parents Workshop. A source with knowledge of the case told the Times that she will also plead guilty in that matter.